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Animal Welfare Delivery Strategy; Defra Publishes Summary Of Consultation Responses

UK - A draft strategy for improving animal welfare in England by building new relationships between Government and its key partners, was published for consultation in November 2006.

Over 2,000 organisations and individuals were consulted and we received 98 written responses. There was general agreement on the scope of the strategy. A number of more detailed issues were raised including:

  • The possible inclusion of certain types of invertebrates
  • How the strategy impacts on those with wider responsibility for welfare e.g. the community as a whole, the owner of the animal and those responsible for directing and managing the keeper
  • The need to emphasise the Government’s role in robustly enforcing standards;
  • To influence consumer behaviour messages must be kept simple and transparent - labels must be clear, simple and standardised.
  • Any measures adopted must give due consideration to the sustainability of the UK livestock industries;
The Animal Welfare Delivery Strategy builds on the principles set out in the 2004 Great Britain Animal Health and Welfare Strategy and is consistent with the new Animal Welfare Act.

The Strategy proposes five key goals:
  1. Improving the quality and range of training and education for animal keepers
  2. Developing a robust and thorough system for measuring welfare standards
  3. Providing more comprehensive and standardised information to consumers on the welfare history of animal products
  4. Enforcing welfare rules efficiently to protect animals while putting as little burden as possible on their keepers
  5. Working towards internationally-agreed standards for animal welfare
The strategy has been developed with external advisers and responds to requests from animal interest groups for more detailed information on the Government’s priorities in this area.

The strategy covers England only. Devolved Administrations are considering similar issues and Defra will share information on best practice with them.

The consultation and summary of responses can be viewed at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/awelfare-strategy/index.htm

the Fish Site Editor

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