Animal Welfare

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 2nd July 2012.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to encourage farmer producers to raise animals with higher levels of welfare.

Photo of James Paice James Paice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

This Government sees the promotion of high animal welfare standards across all areas of agricultural activity as essential to the long-term sustainability of the farming sector.

We continue to make significant efforts to educate farmers of their obligations with regard to legislative requirements and to encourage good welfare. DEFRA’s welfare codes of recommendations aim to encourage farmers to adopt the highest standards of animal husbandry. Without good stockmanship, animal welfare can never be adequately protected. Livestock farmers and employers are required by law to ensure that all those attending to their livestock are familiar with, and have access to, the relevant codes.

Over a number of years ADAS, on behalf of DEFRA, have provided comprehensive welfare advice through a variety of media to producers and private veterinary surgeons to promote good stockmanship and to provide guidance on a wide range of on-farm animal welfare issues.

The RDPE Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme and Rural Economy Grants provide funding to farmers and other businesses in England toward the cost of capital expenditure aimed at improving competitiveness. The improvement of the health and welfare of farm animals is one of the key themes of the schemes with improvement measures over and above standard farm practice being eligible for funding.

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