The final report of the England Implementation Group (EIG) has been published today (January 14). The report reviews the progress of the Animal Health and Welfare Strategy for Great Britain (AHWS), and indicates where key challenges remain.
The final report of the England Implementation Group (EIG), entitled “Building a better future for England’s kept animals”, has been published today (January 14).
The third report from the group (dissolved by DEFRA ministers in September 2009) reviews progress over the last five years with the Animal Health and Welfare Strategy for Great Britain (AHWS), and indicates where key challenges remain.
The report presents itself as an opinion piece by a group of “committed and informed” people who have endeavoured to foster behavioural and attitudinal changes, believing that this is crucial to lasting improvement to the health and welfare of England’s kept animals.
In her introduction, Helen Browning, chair of the EIG, said: “This report began as our annual progress report, albeit one which sought to review the five years since the publication of the Animal Health and Welfare Strategy for Great Britain (AHWS) and to highlight key challenges that lie ahead. With DEFRA’s decision to dissolve the EIG, it must now serve as our final word on these issues.
“Throughout our four year life, we have emphasised process – partnership working, joining up, the establishment of clear goals and milestones – as much as outcomes. We have not sought to tell people what they should do, but to encourage them to do better, together. We have facilitated collaboration, cast a spotlight on good (and sometimes poor) practice; we have concentrated on the development of structures that should ensure that coherent decisions, plans and initiatives can flourish.
“However, given that this is our last chance to do so, we have included clear recommendations to ensure that the current momentum is maintained. Many of these recommendations, though by no means all, are directed at DEFRA, whilst it still has overall responsibility for animal health and welfare policy.”
The report goes on to highlight issues such as exotic and endemic disease, animal welfare, biosecurity and farm health planning, vet services and surveillance, before turning its focus to responsibility and cost sharing (RCS) and the EIG’s vision for the future.
Mrs Browning said: “We have committed much time and thought to RCS, which should allow a significant shift in the ownership of animal health policy and delivery. This report includes a summary of our conclusions, which has been presented to Rosemary Radcliffe’s RCS Advisory Group.”
The full report is available to downloaded below, while further details of the EIG and the Responsibility and Cost Sharing Advisory Group are available from the DEFRA website.