UK, Farm Animal Welfare Committee
Country: Great Britain
Name of Organisation: Farm Animal Welfare Committee
Terms of reference:
The Committee’s Terms of Reference are:
- To provide independent, authoritative, impartial and timely advice, to Defra and the Devolved Administrations in Scotland and Wales:
- on the welfare of farmed animals, including farmed animals on agricultural land, at market, in transit and at the place of killing; and
- on any legislative or other changes that might be considered necessary to improve standards of animal welfare
- To provide independent scientific support and advice as required by Article 20 of Council Regulation (EC) No.1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing.
Short outline of structure:
The Farm Animal Welfare Committee is an expert committee within the English Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (also reporting to government departments in Scotland and Wales). The Committee comprises 18 counsellors, appointed by government departments in England, Wales and Scotland (Great Britain). Appointment is on merit against specifications, and is normally for two terms, each of three years. The counsellors come from various backgrounds, e.g. livestock farming, veterinary medicine and academia.
Short outline of working methods:
The Committee works to a strategic plan. Advice takes three forms, i.e. reports, opinions (short reports) and letters. At present there are two working groups investigating major topics (evidence base for farm animal welfare; and farm animal welfare within sustainable agriculture) with a report published after about three years. About two opinions are published annually (e.g. CCTV in slaughterhouses and the welfare of farmed fish at the time of killing) and these are prepared by one of three standing committees (Pigs, Poultry and Fish; Ruminants; and Ethics, Economics, Education and Regulation). An additional standing committee on Welfare at Killing provides independent scientific support and advice to UK governments as required by Article 20 of Council Regulation (EC) No.1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing. About six letters are sent to GB governments and other organisations (e.g. the European Commission) annually. Extensive consultation takes place with stakeholders in preparing advice, which is based upon scientific evidence, experience and other information. Where there is scientific or moral doubt, then the animal is given the benefit. Advice is published on the website.
Link to website:
Advice from the Farm Animal Welfare Committee will be published on its Website – https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fawc-advice-to-government
Reports, Opinions and other advice produced by the Farm Animal Welfare Committee and published on its previous website can be accessed via The (UK) National Archive - http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20140305110305/http://defra.gov.uk/fawc/
Reports, Opinions and other advice produced by the former Farm Animal Welfare Council can be accessed via The (UK) National Archive - http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20110405232041/http://www.fawc.org.uk/
17 Smith Square
Telephone: +44 (0) 208 02 ext 63936 or 63577