Rebecca Evans, Deputy Minister for Farming and Food
The “Wales Animal Health & Welfare Framework - Achieving High Standards Together” sets out the approach we are taking to achieve continued and lasting improvements in standards of animal health and welfare. Our vision is captured in a number of shared outcomes: that Wales should have healthy productive animals with a good quality of life; that people trust and have confidence in the way our food is produced and the way public health is protected; that Wales has a thriving economy and a high quality environment. These outcomes also contribute to the seven well-being goals set out in the Well Being of Future Generations Act 2015 for a prosperous, resilient, healthy, more equal Wales, with a thriving culture and cohesive communities, and a Wales which is globally responsible.
The Mid-Year Review of the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Implementation Plan 2015/16 sets out the progress we have made in this first six months. The scope of the review is wide covering the actions that the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Group are taking forward to raise awareness of biosecurity and antimicrobial resistance; developing effective channels for engagement with the welfare sector; and tackling diseases which have an economic impact such as bovine viral diarrhoea and sheep scab. It also sets out the actions Welsh Government are taking forward including implementation of the TB Eradication Programme, progressing legislation on dog welfare, scrapie and BSE, our contingency planning arrangements in the event of a major disease outbreak, the Six Day Standstill project and our work to protect the health of bees.
These actions can help achieve a modern, professional and profitable agricultural industry. More broadly, achieving high standards of animal health and welfare will help protect the economy from the impacts of a disease outbreak, impacts which can be felt within the agriculture sector, food industry and public sector as well as more widely - for example, on tourism.
I am grateful to the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Group, chaired by Peredur Hughes, for their commitment and support in taking forward the Implementation Plan and their assistance in preparing the Mid-Year Review.
A copy of the Mid-Year Review of the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Implementation Plan 2015/16 can be accessed online.