Group targets improved animal welfare

Beef Central, 06/08/2011

AAWS advisory committee acting chair, Keith AdamsMore than 140 participants have agreed to a new blueprint to deliver sustainable improvements in the welfare of all animals in Australia over the next three years, a press release issued yesterday said.

A three-day workshop held in Sydney this week brought together primary producers, animal welfare groups, industry leaders, and representatives of Commonwealth and State and Territory governments, as well as delegates from Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The workshop saw the launch of Phase Two of the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS) and the associated National Implementation Plan.

AAWS is the Federal Government’s national plan, delivered through the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, to guide future improvements for the welfare of animals and provide national and international communities with an appreciation of animal welfare arrangements in Australia.

The press release said the new strategy and plan was taking a national approach, focussing attention on key animal welfare issues, providing a framework for investing in sustainable improvements and reporting on progress.

Phase One of AAWS began in 2005 and had supported initiatives to improve animal welfare, including standards for the land transport of livestock, standards for the handling of non-production animals, and a model for assessing the humaneness of methods for controlling pest animals.

AAWS advisory committee acting chair Keith Adams, a former president of the Cattle Council of Australia, said Phase Two of the strategy would target four key goals. These would include:

  • understanding and meeting the welfare needs of animals
  • providing national systems to deliver consistent animal welfare outcomes
  • assisting people to make ethical decisions regarding animal welfare, and
  • engaging in international partnerships to improve animal welfare.

Six working groups covering production animals, companion animals, display, aquatic, research and wild animals, had each set out a plan to address these objectives through new on-the-ground animal welfare projects, Mr Adams said.

It was a mark of the commitment of all participants that there was unanimous support for a range of commitments, he said. These included:

  • endorsement of the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS) 2010-2014 and commitment to its implementation
  • all stakeholders being responsible for both raising awareness and delivering outcomes of the AAWS, within their sector and through the broader community
  • support for commitment of sufficient resources by all stakeholders to meet the AAWS objectives

An extraordinarily long list of organisations was represented at the AAWS National Workshop. Some of those, most relevant to the Australian beef industry’s interests appear below, divided into areas of interest:

Beef Industry:
Cattle Council of Australia; Australian Livestock Markets Association; National Farmers Federation; Australian Lot Feeders Association; Australian Livestock & Property Agents; State livestock producer representative bodies from NSW, Qld and Tasmania; National Meat Industry Training Advisory Council; Meat & Livestock Australia.

Animal welfare:

RSPCA national and state chapters; Animals Australia; Animal Welfare League Australia; World Society for the Protection of Animals; International Animal Welfare; Compassion in World Farming; Animals' Angels.

Goverment and regulatory:
Federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry; AAWS advisory committee; Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities; Primary Industries, environment and natural resources departments from various States; Directorate of Veterinary Public Health; Animal Health Australia; the Australian Pest Animal Strategy; various state biosecurity departments; various state animal welfare advisory committees; New Zealand Ministry for Agriculture.

Academic, professional and research:
Australian Veterinary Association; Animal Welfare Science Centre, Victoria; CSIRO Livestock Industries; NSW, Murdoch, Adelaide, Charles Stuart and Queensland Universities; NSW young lawyers' animal law committee.


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