of council meeting on 1 November 2007
This is the summary report of the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) plenary meeting on 1 November 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.
Main issues included:
- Discussions with the Scottish CVO, Professor Charles Milne, about the specific ways in which Scotland was addressing animal health and welfare;
- Draft report on the welfare implications of lamb castration and tail docking – to go forward to the next Council meeting for agreement;
- A new Working Group on Education, Communication and Knowledge Implementation related to animal welfare. Industry needed to apply more of the knowledge on animal welfare that could be acquired from many sources and society at large needed more information on animal welfare to better inform its decisions;
- An update on engagement with the retail and food service sectors aimed at raising FAWC’s profile and that of its advice;
- The Government response to the FAWC Report on the Welfare Implications of Animal Breeding and Breeding Technologies in Commercial Agriculture. Government had rejected the call for a new body to advise on these issues in favour of FAWC taking up much of this advisory role. An expert on breeding technologies was to be recruited for FAWC to be better able to carry out this role;
- A presentation on the welfare of the dairy cow;
- Discussions about the next priority topics for Standing Committees to tackle and prepare Opinions on. A paper would be prepared for consultation with senior Government officials;
- Reports from the Secretariat on budget and website traffic. Mr Baker, Professor Lawrence and Mr Anderson were thanked for their efforts on behalf of Council during their appointments;
- An update on the activity of Defra’s Animal Welfare Division;
- Progress reports from the Standing Committees and Working Groups.
The Chairman reported on meetings aimed at building relationships with FAWC’s stakeholders in GB and Europe, including meetings with contacts at the Royal Welsh Show, Mr Segal (Defra Food and Farming Group Director) and Professor Lowe (Vets and Vet Services Group). The Chairman had also attended a workshop on Halal Slaughter hosted by CIWF and the Islamic Foundation.
Meetings were planned with the new Ministerial teams and Professor Wathes would attend a Defra –organised conference on Farming for the Future. The Third EuroFAWC meeting would take place in Prague in January 2008.
The Welfare Strategy Group had been working with the England Implementation Group for the Animal Health and Welfare Strategy (and Scottish and Welsh equivalents) on welfare indicators and surveillance.
27 February 2008.
Assistant Secretary FAWC
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