Farm Animal Welfare Council


Summary of council meeting on 24 February 2005

Chairman'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 24 February 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.

This was the first meeting of FAWC Chaired by Professor Wathes since he was appointed as Council Chairman on 1 January 2005. The out going Chairwoman, Dr Judy McArthur Clark, and members who stepped down at the end of 2004, Professor John McInerney, Gareth Lloyd and James Hook, were warmly thanked for their considerable contributions to the work of FAWC over the period of their appointments.

Discussion centred around:

  • the UK’s EU Presidency;
  • the Government response to FAWC’s report on the welfare of farmed animals at slaughter or killing – part one: red meat animals;
  • the draft report on the welfare of farmed animals at gatherings;
  • a draft final report on farm assurance schemes and animal welfare;
  • the welfare implications of Common Agriculture Policy reform;
  • a review of FAWC’s strategy for the next 5 years.

Chairman's Report

The Chairman was finding his feet in last couple of months and was hoping to speak to members and Secretariat as well as external stakeholders about the Council’s current workload and future strategy.

Reports of the Working Groups

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

Strategy and Communication – The annual review was to be published in June 2005 and members were asked for contributions. The Open Meeting would also be held in June. A review of FAWC’s Website was nearing completion.

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 had recently been passed to Defra. The proposed Broiler Directive and 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 written and verbal consultation exercise had elicited a good response. Visits to processors had begun and would continue throughout 2005.

Research and Development – The Group was drafting advice on lamb castration and tail docking with a view to updating comments made in the Report on the Welfare of Sheep in 1994.

Markets and Transport – The Group was completing the drafting of its report on the welfare of farmed animals at gatherings for publication in 2005. It was aware that EU transport regulations were imminent and would monitor their implementation.

Welfare Labelling – A Working Group was addressing the need for and the practicality of welfare labelling for all levels of production of livestock products. A written consultation had brought a good response from stakeholders and consultation meetings were planned with selected interested parties.

Stockmanship – A Working Group had been established to examine the detailed issues surrounding the provision of sufficient knowledgeable and caring stockmanship in the livestock industry. This was influenced by the economics of livestock agriculture, access to education and training and social attitudes to farming. A series of stakeholder meetings were planned to discuss the issues.

Date of next meeting

23 June 2005. Open Meeting 30 June 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 21 July, 2005
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