Farm Animal Welfare Council


FAWC’s Commitment to Openness

FAWC is committed to a culture of openness. This is indicated in the Publication Scheme prepared in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2001, which is reproduced below, and FAWC will comply with all other requirements of the Act.

Publication scheme prepared in accordance with section 19 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.


The Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) is an independent advisory body established by Government in 1979. Its terms of reference are to keep under review the welfare of farm animals on agricultural land, at market, in transit and at place of slaughter; and to advise GB Governments of any legislative or other changes that may be necessary. The Council can investigate any topic falling within this remit, communicate freely with outside bodies, the European Commission and the public and publish its advice independently. The Secretariat for the Council is provided by Defra.

Members are drawn from a wide range of disciplines and occupations and serve in a personal capacity, not as representatives of any organisation or interest group. Guidance is issued to members when they join on, amongst other issues, Council’s guiding principles, working procedures, openness, representing FAWC in the wider world and declaration of members’ interests.

How information is made available.

Type of publication
Available as
FAWC Reports on animal welfare issues (initially circulated widely in hard copy by the Secretariat). Website (
Hard copy (from Secretariat)



Annual Review (initially circulated widely in hard copy by the Secretariat). Website
Hard copy (from Secretariat)



Responses by FAWC to Defra (and other) consultations. Website
Letters and minor advice from FAWC to Government and others. Website
Summaries of Plenary meetings of Council (usually held three times a year). Website
Summary of the annual public meeting. Website

The Annual Review would typically cover the terms of reference of Council and background to the establishment and the past workings of FAWC; summaries of advice and responses to consultation sent to Government (and others) during the year; reports on Council and Working Group activities carried out during the year and plans for the next year; membership; a statement on the register of members interests (available on request); a statement on guidance to members; costs for the year and the source of income (Defra); the Secretariat organisation and contact details; and a list of publications.

Minutes of FAWC Working Groups will not normally be made publicly available because they are both internal documents assisting the development of work in progress and can involve detailed consideration of issues relating to organisations and individuals. FAWC will endeavour to answer all requests for information subject to the resources available and any particular individual or commercial confidentiality.

If you want to re-use or reproduce our publications, e.g. commercially or for circulation for education, etc., purposes, you will in most cases need to apply for a copyright licence for this. FAWC is a Non-Departmental Public Body and our information is subject to Crown copyright administered by Her Majesty’s Stationary Office (


Complaints about any aspects of FAWC’s work should be addressed initially to the Secretary of FAWC to see if an immediate resolution can be achieved. Where this initial approach does not satisfy the complainant, the issue should be addressed in detail to the Chair of the Council (who may refer the matter to Council if appropriate). If the complainant is not satisfied with the answer provided by the Chair, the matter may be referred to the Complaints Adjudicator in the Corporate Services Division of Defra who will make an impartial assessment of the case and advise accordingly. If the matter remains unresolved the complainant may refer it to the Minister.

Review of publication scheme.

7. This publication scheme will be a living document, which will be modified in light of FAWC’s work, changes in legislation, public comment and feedback. This scheme is not retrospective and we do not undertake to publish information held by FAWC that was generated before February 2004, the date the scheme came into force.

Contact address

FAWC Secretariat
Area 8B, 9 Millbank
c/o 17 Smith Square

Tel. 0207 238 5124 / 6340 / 5016
Fax. 0207 238 3169


In addition FAWC will continue to:

  • During each of its studies FAWC will carry out a consultation exercise seeking evidence from a wide variety of sources including those representing the industry, animal protection organisations and the veterinary profession; consult with experts; visit farms, research establishments and interested organisations to see and discuss the issues involved; invite main respondents to discuss the Council’s initial findings prior to publication of the report; and use press notices to highlight and to increase impact of published reports and of the most newsworthy Council decisions.
  • Regularly update the FAWC Website, which contains a great deal of information about FAWC, its membership, meetings, current work, reports and advice.
  • Hold an annual open meeting to launch the Annual Review.


FAWC Secretariat
September 2008

Last modified 8 July, 2010
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