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Animal welfare
Farm assurance: FAWC fears loss of focus on welfare

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FARM assurance schemes have helped to deliver improved animal welfare, but a number of key areas need to be addressed to drive welfare forward.

So says the Farm Animal Welfare Committee (FAWC) in a recently published ‘Review of the implications for animal welfare of farm assurance schemes’. The advisory committee's review follows up a report on the same subject by its predecessor, the Farm Animal Welfare Council, in 2005 (see VR, July 9, 2005, vol 157, pp 34-35).

In its review, the FAWC looks back to the conclusions and recommendations made in 2005 to assess whether these are still valid and what progress has been made. It says that, since 2005, farm assurance schemes have evolved to cover most of the UK's livestock production, although membership of such schemes in the sheep sector is significantly less than for other species. Also, some schemes do not cover the whole life of animals. However, it says, the growth of fully focused welfare schemes shows that they can deliver better welfare for farm animals. That said, the committee comments, the potential added value the …

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