of council meeting on 25 June 2008
This is the summary report of the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) plenary meeting on 25 June 2008, chaired by Professor Christopher Wathes. The Council meets three times a year. Working groups that convene more frequently undertake much of the preparatory work.
Discussion centred on:
- The welfare implications of disease restrictions on the various farm animal sectors and consideration of a new study on contingency planning for disease outbreaks and natural disasters;
- A new workstream on the welfare implications of breeding and breeding technologies. This was aimed at building relationships with the industry, assessing examples of new breeding strategies and technologies with implications for farm animal welfare and providing a liaison point with the National Standing Committee on Farm Animal Genetic Resources (NSC FAnGr);
- Review of FAWC’s work programme for 2008/09, including preparation for a major new study on disease and animal welfare and preparation of FAWC’s Strategic Business Plan for 2011-2016;
- A draft report on the welfare of white meat species, on which there would be more debate at the Council meeting in October 2008;
- A draft Opinion on Policy Instruments for Protecting and Improving Farm Animal Welfare, which was approved for publication (subject to final comments by Council members being taken on board);
- A draft Opinion on the Welfare of Farmed Gamebirds, which was approved for publication (subject to final comments by Council members being taken on board);
- A draft Opinion on the welfare of dairy cattle, which would require further consideration;
- A first opportunity to assess progress on a report to present a long term view of future farm animal welfare strategy, policy and implementation in GB;
- FAWC’s relationship with the media. Council debated a draft Communication Strategy;
- Updates on the work of the Standing Committees and Working Groups;
- An update on the activity of Defra’s Animal Welfare Division.
The Chairman reported on meetings aimed at building relationships with FAWC’s stakeholders in GB and Europe, including meetings with the English and Scottish Ministers, Lord Rooker and Richard Lochhead respectively, the EU Commission, EIG Chair Helen Browning, the British Egg Industry Council and RSPCA. The Chairman had also attended an EU Welfare Labelling Conference and a Pig Health and Welfare Council meeting.
Meetings were planned with Defra and Welsh Assembly Government Animal Welfare Team officials, Defra Vets and Vet Services Committee and the Chairman of the National Standing Committee on Farm Animal Genetic Resources, Professor Geoff Simm.
16 October 2008.
Assistant Secretary FAWC
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