Farm Animal Welfare Council


Summary of council meeting on 23 June 2005

This is the summary report of the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) Plenary meeting on 23 June 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.

Discussion centred around:

  • Report on the Welfare of Farmed Animals at Gatherings.
  • Report on the Welfare Implications of Farm Assurance Schemes.
  • Welfare labelling.
  • Lamb castration and tail docking.

Chairman’s Report

The Chairman had continued to form working relationships by meeting with the Parliamentary Under Secretary (Mr Bradshaw) with Debby Reynolds, the Chief Veterinary Officer for Defra. He had attended the Compassion in World Farming conference on animal sentience, and met with the Companion Animal Welfare Council.

Report on the Welfare of Farmed Animals at Gatherings

FAWC had completed the drafting of the report on the Welfare of Farmed Animals at Gatherings. The report looked at instances when animals were participating in the market activities and recommended that they must be fed, watered and rested (which complies with new transport regulations) addressing minimum standards of care.

Report on the Welfare Implications of Farm Assurance Schemes

FAWC had completed the drafting of the report on the Welfare implications of farm assurance schemes. The report made recommendations that all animals should be assured from birth to slaughter, and focussed on equivalence, assessment and audit, welfare assessment, stockmanship, cull animals, organic farming and the supply and demand side issues.

Lamb castration and tail docking

FAWC had continued with the preparation of its report on lamb castration and tail docking and had met with industry representatives to discuss meat quality and management issues of entire lambs and to discuss the pain associated with castration and tail docking.

Welfare labelling

FAWC discussed its initial thinking in relation to its proposed report on welfare labelling and had continued its useful and positive engagement with stakeholders to help inform this process.

Strategy and Communications Working Group

FAWC had produced the 2004/2005 Annual Review. The Chairman asked for members to submit three priorities for FAWCs future work programme to be sent to the Secretariat.

Poultry Issues Working Group

The group had visited an enriched colony system for laying hens (the birds were still kept in cages but had more room). The facility was new, well managed, supported 30,000 birds and represented a considerable investment at £15 per bird. The age of the oldest bird was 55 weeks. The group will also be looking at other alternative systems and at the issue of skeletal health in laying hens.

Slaughter Working Group

Recent visits the Group had made were very helpful and these would continue in the second half of 2005, followed by stakeholder meetings in early 2006. The Group will be aiming to publish its report by the end of 2006.

Stockmanship Working Group

The Council was given a summary of the Group’s recent activities. The meeting with Welsh Stakeholders was particularly useful and the Group was impressed with their activities relating to monitor farms and centres of vocational excellence. Wales appeared to be ahead of the rest of the UK in respect of training in agriculture.

Date of next meeting

The date of the next meeting is 9 November 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

FAWC Secretariat

Last modified 21 March, 2006
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