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Disaster planning should take account of welfare, says FAWC

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SPECIFIC contingency plans should be put in place to protect animal welfare during disasters and emergencies, according to the Farm Animal Welfare Committee (FAWC).

The recommendation is made in the committee's ‘Opinion on Contingency Planning for Farm Animal Welfare in Disasters and Emergencies’, the aim of which, it says, is to ‘examine the potential impacts that disasters and emergencies can have on farm animal welfare, and to consider the implications for contingency planning’.

The opinion covers potential disaster and emergency scenarios that the FAWC has identified as having the potential to impact on animal welfare (see box), and applies to all farmed species in Great Britain, including fish.

Although national contingency plans exist to manage disease outbreaks, the FAWC expresses concern that they are not designed to deal with non-disease threats. It also points out that the EU does not have coordinated emergency plans for animal welfare and that, outside of Europe, animal welfare considerations are rarely included in contingency planning at all.

Farm animals are particularly vulnerable in disasters and …

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