The reconstitution of the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) as a committee of experts must be done in such a way that its independence and expertise are not compromised, warned BVA president Harvey Locke.

The reconstitution of the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) as a committee of experts must be done in such a way that its independence and expertise is not compromised, warned BVA president Harvey Locke.
 
BVA president Harvey LockeCommenting on the Government’s announcement regarding the fate of its quangos (quasi autonomous non-governmental organisations), Mr Locke said: “The BVA is relieved that the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) has not been abolished entirely, however its reconstitution as a committee of experts must be done in such a way that its independence and expertise [are] not compromised.
 
“FAWC has played an essential role in the way the Government thinks about farm animal welfare and has succeeded in challenging both the Government and the farming industry on matters of huge importance, such as dairy cow welfare.
 
“We would be very concerned if this move indicated a downgrading of the importance of farm animal welfare, especially in the current economic climate, which will be pushing farmers to drive down costs on farm. We will be watching the development of the committee of experts with interest.
 
“The BVA is pleased to see the retention of the Veterinary Products Committee, which performs a vital function in veterinary medicine regulation, and the Science Advisory Council, which provides expert, independent advice to DEFRA on science policy and strategy.”

 

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