Government Committee Calls for More Real Welfare

UK - Assurance schemes should step up their use of Real Welfare-type auditing, according to a new report by government's Farm Animal Welfare Committee.
calendar icon 7 October 2013
clock icon 2 minute read

It recommends schemes should begin to embrace welfare outcomes "as a mainstay of their standards". However, all changes to standards must be based on sound evidence, it warns.

But in the same report the committee notes a strange phenomenon... whilst public bodies are reducing the inspection burden on producers, the private sector is busy increasing it.

"Whilst the increase in coverage of inspections is seen as a positive contributor to animal welfare, we believe that greater coordination of visits is needed across the public and private sectors," it says.

It says multiple and repetitive inspection visits are "burdensome and costly" to all concerned.

The report is likely to prove controversial in the pig sector, which is an early adopter of Real Welfare audits, with some producers and vets arguing the audits are time-consuming and add cost.

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