Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has highlighted its commitment to animal welfare in the production of beef, lamb and pork in Scotland through the launch of a new “Animal Welfare and Wellbeing Charter”.
Designed to “articulate and formalise” the priority placed on animal welfare and wellbeing by QMS, the new charter highlights the complementary relationship between “animal welfare” (relating to the physical needs of animals) and “animal wellbeing” (relating to the emotional state of animals and their quality of life).
It contains a number of key guiding principles, including:
- the encouragement of good animal welfare practices;
- collaboration between QMS and statutory agencies responsible for animal welfare, avoiding any conflict of interest; and,
- the adoption of a practical approach to animal welfare (focusing on management regimes, stock husbandry and animal behaviour).
“The charter is a clear indication of the long-established commitment of our industry to animal welfare, which our market research clearly indicates continues to increase in importance in terms of consumers’ expectations,” said QMS chairman, Jim McLaren.
Scottish SPCA chief superintendent, Mike Flynn, commented: “We value the opportunity to work closely with the farming sector and very much welcome the introduction of the new charter, which places importance on the physical needs of animals as well as their emotional state.”