Time to “step up a gear” on animal health and welfare

It’s time for the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England (AHWBE) to “step up a gear” says the organisation’s chairman Michael Seals.

Writing in the forward to AHWBE’s annual report, issued by Defra, he said the desired gear change was needed to help the Government deliver its vision for animal health and welfare in “these challenging times”.

“My aspiration is that the AHWBE will engage in policy recommendations for government and industry that will achieve a higher health status and greater industry responsibility (where applicable), and support government in carrying policy through to delivery,” he said.

“AHWBE has established relationships across all animal keeping sectors that will enable it to support the Government’s strategy, including promoting high health status, productivity and competitiveness in all livestock sectors and good animal welfare in both food and companion animals. I intend that we should pursue this through promotion of sector-led and sector-delivered initiatives, supported by Government where only Government can act.”

Mr Seals (pictured above) also said it was important not to underestimate the scale of the challenge which lies ahead.

“Defra and APHA have already had to make significant savings and more will follow,” he said, writing before this week’s Defra cuts announcement.

“There will inevitably be changes in how government works and the scale of the support it can offer. This leaves us, the animal keepers, with both a task and an opportunity. As government prioritises where it spends its finite resources we can step in to shape and deliver future services.”

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