Farm Animal Welfare Council


Summary of council meeting on 28 October 2004

Chairwoman's Report
Reports from the Working Groups
Next meeting

This is a report of the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) plenary meeting on 8 February 2001, chaired by Judy MacArthur Clark. The Council meets three times a year. Most of the preparatory work is undertaken by sub-committees that convene more frequently.

Two new members, Mrs Barbara Smith and Mr Graham Godbold, were appointed in January.

Chairwoman's Report

The Chairwoman reported that she (i) had attended a very interesting RSPCA Conference on the impact of WTO on farm animal welfare; (ii) had attended a TAIEX Seminar in Brussels, a gathering of representatives of animal welfare organisations from the 15 countries due to join the EU; (iii) gave a presentation to the All Party Group for Animal Welfare; and (iv) attended the Agricultural, Environment and Biotechnology Commission's (AEBC) Open Meeting. The Chairwoman also attended meetings with Senior Civil Servants from MAFF policy groups.

Reports from the Working Groups

As is customary the meeting heard progress reports from the Chairmen and Chairwomen of the various Working Groups.

Farm Assurance Schemes - Since the last Council the Group had met representatives from McDonald's; the British Cattle Association; Scottish Food Quality Certification Ltd. (SFQC); Scotch Quality Beef and Lamb Association (SQBLA); Quality Meat Scotland (QMS); the Scottish National Farmers Union (SNFU), the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) and the Scottish Society for the Protection of Animals (SSPCA). A first draft of the Interim Farm Assurance Schemes Report was presented to Council for comment. The Report is due for publication in the Autumn.

Poultry Issues - The Council had written to Elliot Morley, on 25 October recognising the efforts of the industry in accepting its central role in improving broiler welfare, but recorded continuing FAWC concerns about the findings of the industry 'leg health survey'. It also called for a complete third-party analysis of the survey data. The Group had productive, separate, meetings with MAFF officials and BPMF representatives in December to explore how each organisation was proposing to take forward the broiler leg health action plan requested by FAWC.

A letter was sent to Mr Morley on 31 October 2000 to re-iterate the Council's belief that a poultry registration scheme would be a step forward in terms of bird welfare. The letter also raised concerns about the proposed plan to implement the scheme by administrative methods.

Slaughter - Members of the group visited an abattoir dealing with the slaughter of pigs infected with Classical Swine Fever and an infected premises. In addition, the Group visited three Over Thirty Month Scheme (OTMS) slaughterhouses [in the North West]. A visit to a Muslim (halal) plant had been postponed because of the unavailability of key staff at the slaughterhouse. This visit is being re-arranged. A visit to hear a presentation about, and see, the Jewish method of slaughter (Shechita) has been arranged. A first draft of the Report on the Welfare of Livestock (Red Meat Animals) at Slaughter will be presented to Council in June.

Strategy and Communications - A change in title of this working Group (previously Promotion and Education) reflects its new remit. The FAWC Open Meeting would be held on Friday, 8 June 2001. The FAWC Annual Review 2000/1 was currently being drafted.

Research and Development - On 2 November 2000 FAWC passed comments to MAFF's Chief scientist Group on the MAFF Research Strategy for 2001-5. The Working Group met with representatives of the newly established Agriculture, environment and Biotechnology Commission (AEBC). The AEBC requested initial briefing from FAWC on the main areas of concern and on perceived gaps in legislation and advisory control in regard of animal welfare and emerging technologies. The Group also discussed the R&D priorities for the 2000/1 FAWC Annual Review.

Transport and Markets - The Group has been considering the responses received from the consultation exercise on the welfare of horses and ponies at markets. Visits were being planned to horse and pony markets and sales. A first draft of the Report of the Welfare of Livestock at Markets is being prepared for presentation to Council in October 2001.

Date of next meeting

10 June 2004

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 26 April, 2005
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