Government to chair meeting on next steps for animal welfare

Government to chair meeting on next steps for animal welfare

Following the publication of the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway last year, Westminster Food and Nutrition Forum are holding a conference on Thursday 6th July focusing on next steps for animal health and welfare.

Cattle in a field.

Government said that the event will be an opportunity to assess the new standards as part of the Sustainable Farming Incentive, and examine how food production can become more resilient and efficient whilst contributing to wider environmental goals.

Delegates will also examine Government ambitions to create increased market demand for higher standards in this area, and the role of mandatory animal welfare labelling.

The conference includes keynote sessions with Dr Christine Middlemiss, UK Chief Veterinary Officer, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra); and Fran Edmunds, Head of Policy within Future Farming, Farm Animal Welfare and Food Labelling, Defra.

Christine Middlemiss, UK Chief Veterinary Officer.

The agenda includes discussion on:

  • Animal health and welfare in the UK: the future direction of policy – opportunities for continuous improvement through delivery of the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway

  • Delivering animal health as a public good: engaging and incentivising farmers to improve animal welfare – getting the most out of Annual Health and Welfare Reviews – the role of new grants

  • Regulation: options for enforcement following ambitions to achieve standards higher than baseline

  • Improving farm standards: infection and disease control – supporting the development of new approaches – connecting with wider policy on AMR and sustainability

  • Mandatory animal welfare labelling:
    • equipping consumers with the information needed to make informed purchases
    • trends and data on public attitudes
    • examining the Government’s approach of moving market demand closer to high standard purchases, and how this could work in practice
    • impacts on production costs

  • The future trade deal landscape:
    • the impact of pushing for higher standards in domestic produce
    • assessing how animal welfare standards have been approached in deals with Australia and New Zealand

Other notable speakers at the conference include: Jessica Burt, Mills and Reeve; Dr Jane Clark, Food Standards Agency; Dr Michael Clark, British Veterinary Poultry Association; Michael Freedman, IGD; Jemima Jewell, John Lewis Partnership; Professor Louise Manning, University of Lincoln; Cat McLaughlin, NFU; Dr Mandy Nevel, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board; Bridget Taylor, British Cattle Veterinary Association and CHECS; Professor James Wood, University of Cambridge.

The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials from the APHA; DAERA, NI; DBT; Defra; DAFM, Ireland; FSA; FSS; Isle of Man Government; VMD; the Scottish Government; and the Welsh Government – as well as by parliamentary pass-holders from The House of Commons.

To book a place at next month’s meeting, click here.

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