Farm Animal Welfare Council


Summary of council meeting on 9 November 2005

This is the summary report of the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) plenary meeting on 9 November 2005, 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 around:

  • Strategic business planning for the next five years of FAWC’s work;
  • A draft report on welfare labelling;
  • A draft report on stockmanship;
  • A draft report on lamb castration and tail docking;
  • Advice to Defra on Avian Influenza animal welfare issues; and
  • A presentation on farm animal ethics from Rev. Professor Reiss.

Chairman’s Report

The Chairman was continuing his drive to build relationships with FAWC’s stakeholders in GB and Europe, through meetings with Ministers, CVOs, officials, the Animal Health and Welfare Strategy advisory bodies and the other Government animal welfare advisory bodies (Animal Procedures Committee and the Companion Animal Welfare Council).

Reports of the Standing Committees

Ruminants – The first meeting of the committee had brainstormed the welfare issues identifying priorities including the welfare of dairy cattle, lengthy movement restrictions imposed on TB reactor herds, the welfare implications of the end of the OTMS and changes to on farm slaughter and the shortfall of veterinarians in large animal practices.

Pigs, Poultry and Fish – The Committee had led on the production of very quick advice to Defra on animal welfare issues potentially arising out of Avian Influenza contingency planning. It was also bringing together the various strands of advice on laying hen welfare it (and its predecessor) had been working on into one document pre-empting the review in 2006 of the Directive laying down minimum requirements for the protection of laying hens. The Committee continued to pass advice to Defra on the proposed broiler welfare Directive. Horizon scanning on pig and fish welfare issues would continue.

Ethics, Economics, Education and Regulation – This committee had also brainstormed on issues within its remit identifying potential priorities for consideration including a review of FAWC’s philosophy of approach; productivity and animal welfare; globalisation, trade and WTO; animals as sentient organisms rather than commodities; and sustainability and animal welfare.

Reports of the Working Groups

As is customary the meeting heard progress reports from the Chairs of the Working Groups.

Strategy and Communication – The Group had been working on a Web based questionnaire for stakeholders seeking their views on priority issues in farm animal welfare. Responses to this questionnaire would feed into the Group’s last project, which was to work up a strategic business plan for FAWC’s future work.

Slaughter – The Group was now focussed on welfare at slaughter of white meat species. A wide written and verbal consultation exercise had elicited a good response. Meetings with researchers in the field of welfare at slaughter had been held and a wide literature search had resulted in a great deal of scientific articles for members to consider. Visits to processors would continue throughout 2005 and into 2006.

Welfare Strategy – A new Working Group had been assembled to seek out a vision for farm animal welfare maybe 20 years into the future.

Next meeting

23 February 2006.

Further information


Richard Aram
Assistant Secretary FAWC
Area 511, 1A Page Street

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7904 6532
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7904 6993

Last modified 17 March, 2006
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