Plans to develop and improve animal health and welfare in Wales have been set out by the minister for natural resources and food, Alun Davies.
Mr Davies has proposed a new 10-year framework for animal health and welfare, which would replace the current Great Britain Animal Health and Welfare Strategy.
The new framework would seek to:
- improve the health and welfare of all animals kept in Wales
- protect the public from animal disease
- examine the importance of animal health and welfare to the resilience of the farming industry in Wales
- explore how improved animal health and welfare can increase profitability in the farming industry, and
- contribute to the economy as a whole.
The proposed framework is also an important part of the Welsh Government’s ongoing work to protect the food chain, to support the rural economy and to enhance Wales’ natural environment.
Mr Davies encouraged those with an interest to engage in the consultation process.
“The way we treat animals is an important reflection of the values of our society and I am committed to driving up health and welfare standards for both farmed livestock and companion animals in Wales.
“This proposed framework will also help us achieve our wider ambitions around green growth, tackling poverty and improved resource efficiency.
“I am keen we work together to develop the framework so that it truly delivers for Wales and I would urge those with an interest to engage in our consultation process. ”
Chief veterinary officer for Wales Christianne Glossop said: “Partnership working is fundamental to the development of the framework. We are keen to work with industry and other partners to collect, share and use data to agree disease priorities, identify solutions and make effective decisions to achieve maximum impact and ensure best use of resources.
“Disease outbreaks and the measures to deal with them can carry wide and costly consequences for public health, the economy and the environment and achieving high standards of animal health and welfare is important to all of us.”
The consultation will run until April 25, 2014 and will be supplemented by four workshops across Wales to discuss the plans in detail.
The consultation is available at www.wales.gov.uk/consultations