Farm Animal Welfare Council


The Role of the Council

How does the Council work?

The full Council convenes 3 times a year but Standing Committees and Working Groups meet more frequently. These groups undertake the detailed analysis and prepare recommendations for the Council's consideration. Once agreed, the recommendations become a Council view. Summaries of Council meetings are available on the FAWC website.

FAWC may commence a study for a variety of reasons. There may be public concern about a particular issue, the GB Government Departments with responsibility for farm animal welfare may request advice or the Council may itself decide that a subject warrants review.

The Council consults widely and openly about the issues it considers and before embarking on a new study carries out a written, public consultation. Studies incorporate consideration of detailed written and verbal evidence from interested organisations and individuals; examination of scientific data; and, commonly, visits to farms, other agricultural holdings and research centres. Additionally, it is usual to hold seminars with invited experts. Most reviews culminate in published reports which are widely distributed throughout the UK and overseas.

Recognising the increased emphasis on harmonisation of welfare controls across the European Union, the Council makes contact with its counterparts in Europe, through the European Forum of Animal Welfare Councils, both to exchange views and to develop a co-ordinated approach.

What has the Council done?

We have published a number of reports relating to specific animal welfare issues and, on a regular basis, provide advice or voice concern to Government. We send copies of reports to the European Commission. The FAWC Annual Review 2009-2010 (PDF 2MB) is also available.

What happens to the Council's advice?

The Government consults interested organisations about our reports before taking final decisions on implementation. Recommendations may be implemented by legislation, welfare codes or advisory campaigns, but are also sometimes taken up directly by some in the food supply chain.


Last modified: 8 July 2010
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