Farm Animal Welfare Council


Summary of council meeting on 28 October 2004

Chairwoman's Report
Reports from the Working Groups
Next meeting
Further information

This is the summary report of the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) plenary meeting on 28 October 2004, chaired by Dr Judy MacArthur Clark. The Council meets three times a year. Working groups that convene more frequently undertake much of the preparatory work.

This would be the last meeting of FAWC Chaired by Dr Judy MacArthur Clark before she stepped down from Council at the end of 2004. A new Chair would be appointed by Ministers from 1 January 2005.

Discussion centred around the draft report on animal welfare in markets and animal gatherings; FAWC’s policy on registration and licensing; a draft second report on farm assurance schemes and animal welfare; the Implementation Plan for Defra’s Animal Health and Welfare Strategy; a short review of recent science on sheep castration and tail docking; the welfare implications of Common Agriculture Policy reform; and a review (conducted by FAWC members) of FAWC’s past reports, which would feed into a planned review of FAWC’s strategy for the next 5 years.

Chairwoman's Report

The Chairwoman had participated in Defra’s launch of its Animal Health and Welfare Strategy and would retain a role, as part of the interim steering group, in its implementation.

A schedule of report production was reviewed. This prioritised the order and timescale of reports’ approval and publication.

The Chairwoman held a meeting with the Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency, which covered welfare labelling issues and some aspects of the Government’s response to FAWC’s red meat slaughter report.

Reports from the Working Groups

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

Strategy and Communication – The redesigned annual review had been published and the Open Meeting held earlier in the year. Both had been well received by stakeholders. A review of FAWC’s Website would be undertaken in 2005.

Poultry Issues – Laying hen skeletal health had been the subject of a meeting with researchers and the industry and would be the subject of a position paper in 2005. Advice on beak-trimming and an alternative treatment under trial in the UK would be passed to Defra shortly. The review of the Laying Hen Directive due in 2005/06 would also see work for the Poultry Issues Group in formulating advice to Defra on its negotiating position.

Farm Assurance Schemes – A draft report was nearing completion and would be published in 2005.

Slaughter – The Group was now focussed on welfare at slaughter of white meat species. A wide consultation exercise had elicited a good response. Meetings with Research Institutes were complete and visits to processors had begun and would continue throughout 2005.

Research and Development – The Group was now focussing on the issue of lamb castration with a view to updating comments made in the Report on the Welfare of Sheep in 1994.

Markets and Transport – The Group was concentrating on drafting its report for publication in 2005 but also kept a watch on transport issues.

Welfare Labelling – A Working Group had been established largely as a result of the Government’s suggestion in its draft response to the FAWC red meat slaughter report that meat from animals slaughtered without pre-stunning might be subject to voluntary labelling. The group also had a wider remit to address welfare labelling for all levels of production of livestock products. A written consultation had brought a good response from stakeholders and meetings would be arranged with selected interested parties.

Date of next meeting

24 February 2005.

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 4 July, 2005
Photo of calvesf Photo of chickensf Photo of sheepf Photo of piglets
Help | Copyright | Privacy