Farm Animal Welfare Council


FAWC News Release

15 November 2007

Farm animal welfare council opinions on enriched cages for laying hens and on beak trimming of laying hens

The Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) today publishes two Opinions on its website –

  • Opinion on Enriched Cages for Laying Hens;
  • Opinion on Beak Trimming of Laying Hens.

Professor Christopher Wathes, Chairman of FAWC, said “These Opinions aim to advise Government, including the devolved administrations, about contemporary welfare issues facing laying hens. We also intend this advice to have relevance to the Governments’ position on an EU Commission Report on the Protection of Laying Hens that is expected soon.”

These Opinions represent a new form of advice reflecting changes within the structure of the Council and in how it presents its advice to Government on farm animal welfare issues. An Opinion is a brief report outlining the major causes of concern for animal welfare and making recommendations for improvement within a restricted scope. The aim is to be responsive to specific issues in a shorter timescale than that needed for the traditional FAWC report.

Other Opinions to be published next year will address the welfare of farmed game birds, the longevity of the dairy cow, and policy instruments for welfare. Four investigations are also in progress that will lead to major reports.

Notes for Editors

1. The Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) is an independent advisory body established by Government in 1979 to keep under review the welfare of farmed animals on agricultural land, at market, in transit and at place of slaughter; and to advise Ministers in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales, of any legislative or other changes that may be necessary.

2. Professor Christopher Wathes was appointed Chairman of FAWC in January 2005. He holds the Chair of Animal Welfare at the Royal Veterinary College, University of London.

3. All FAWC members serve in a personal capacity and do not represent any organisation with which they may be associated.

4. Copies of FAWC Opinions are available from the FAWC Website at the address below. Media approaches should be routed through the Secretariat.

FAWC Secretariat
Area 701
1A Page Street
London SW1P 4PQ

Tel.: 020 7904 6532
Fax.: 020 7904 6993


Last modified 15 November, 2007
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