Scottish government commits to 12 health and welfare action points

The Scottish government’s newly-published animal health and welfare 2016-2021 strategy for the livestock industry identifies five key themes that need to be addressed and 12 action points for government and industry to pursue.

Drawn up by a stakeholder working group, the strategy’s five themes are as follows:

  • skills and knowledge,
  • disease risk,
  • welfare,
  • regulatory,
  • societal impact.

The actions stemming from these themes, to which the Scottish government is committed, are:

  • to ensure the new farm advisory service promotes advice on all aspects of animal health, welfare and legislative requirements;
  • to work with partners to review the effectiveness of communications on animal health and welfare and make recommendations as necessary;
  • to ensure that the livestock and ancillary industries continue to have regular opportunities to contribute to both the setting of priorities for the research programme and the commissioning of relevant one off research projects;
  • to review the governance of APHA’s activities in Scotland so as to ensure that Scottish government delivers an effective service to the people of Scotland;
  • in conjunction with partners, to review existing monitoring of wildlife and imports to ensure that they are effective;
  • to use the best available evidence to initiate a discussion with stakeholders on the next stage of tackling disease in Scotland;
  • that the Welfare Working Group will continue to make recommendations on how best to promote animal health and welfare, including suggestions for further research and voluntary initiatives;
  • to seek to reduce Europe’s regulatory burden in recognition of Scotland’s good animal health record and disease-free status;
  • to work with APHA, local authorities and other partners to review the current approach to enforcing livestock animal health and welfare regulation, and will make proposals for improvements;
  • in conjunction with partners will review animal traceability with a view to strengthening and enhancing the current system of traceability to benefit health, welfare, meat quality and environmental gains along the entire supply chain;
  • to continue to monitor the links between animal health and welfare, and wider societal and climatic concerns, with Scottish government reporting regularly on developments;
  • for an implementation group with strong stakeholder representation to be created to advise on how the actions outlined in this strategy are carried out, and on any adjustments required to adapt to changes in circumstances.

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