of open meeting on 27 June 2007
This is the summary report of the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) plenary meeting on 27 June 2007, 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:
- The recent Open Meeting held on 14 June at which FAWC’s Report on Stockmanship and Farm Animal Welfare was launched. Some discussion about the format of FAWC’s public engagement concluded that existing arrangements should continue, i.e. Annual Open Meeting and publication on the FAWC Website (and in hard copy) of Reports and advice.
- Draft report on the welfare implications of lamb castration and tail docking – to go forward to the next meeting for agreement;
- Draft Opinions on the welfare of laying hens: enriched cages and beak trimming. Agreed, with amendments, for publication Summer 2007;
- Engagement with the retail and food service sectors was to be taken up as a workstream, perhaps as step one in an ongoing commitment to engagement with all sectors along the food chain;
- The Government response to the FAWC Report on the Welfare Implications of Animal Breeding and Breeding Technologies in Commercial Agriculture. Government was rejecting the call for a new body to advise on these issues in favour of FAWC taking up much of this advisory role. Council was largely content with the suggestions given enhanced expertise on Council and the resources required to carry out this additional role. The Response would be considered in more detail at the next meeting;
- Reports from the Secretariat on budget, the effects on the Secretariat of entering a shared secretariat arrangement with EIG and SEAC and the new duty on public bodies to consider biodiversity in their work;
- The cross Government Website rationalisation project was discussed with Defra’s Director of E-communications. FAWC wished its independence to be maintained by exemption from this rationalisation;
- 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, through meetings with Ministers, CVOs, officials, the Animal Health and Welfare Strategy implementation and steering bodies and with key stakeholders (NADIS, National Office on Animal Health, New Zealand MAF). The Chairman had also chaired sessions of the EU Conference on Animal Welfare and Labelling and attended the Welfare Quality Project Stakeholder Conference.
The second meeting of the European Forum of Animal Welfare Councils (EuroFAWC) had been held in Brussels in May 2007. The Forum aimed to share best practice, discuss shared animal welfare issues and explore how activities might be co-ordinated and communicated to the European institutions and wider.
1 November 2007 in Edinburgh.
Assistant Secretary FAWC
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