Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs
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 and that Wales has a thriving economy and a high quality environment. These outcomes contribute to the seven well-being goals set out in the Well-Being of Future Generations Act 2015. Animal health and welfare makes a major contribution to the sustainability of the livestock sector, to the wider food and farming industry and more broadly to the countryside, the environment, communities and the economy.
This is the second annual Implementation Plan published under the Framework. It is being published at a time when we are just beginning the work to assess the implications of the EU Referendum Result. It is too early at this stage to go into detail on what may happen, however, there will be no immediate changes to regulatory requirements or to EU investments and funding. We will progress the actions set out within the Wales AHWF Implementation Plan 2016/17 to continue to raise animal health and welfare standards and promote healthy Welsh livestock, protect human health, the environment and safeguard the local economy.
Partnership working remains fundamental to the successful implementation of the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework. I am grateful to the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Group, chaired by Peredur Hughes, for their commitment and support in preparing this plan. A copy of the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Implementation Plan 2016/17 can be accessed online.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.