i) Welsh Government - Our Ambition to Further Develop Wales’ Food and Drink Sector
Welsh Government are seeking responses to the Welsh Government and the Food and Drink Wales Industry Board’s joint proposals for a strategic plan to further advance the food and drink sector in Wales for the period 2020-2026.
For further information please follow click here. The consultation closes on the 15th October 2019.
ii) Food Standards Agency - Home Slaughter of Livestock Guidance
The Food Standards Agency have updated the Home Slaughter of Livestock guidance for England and Wales to reflect the changes to regulations.
Under the revised Animal Welfare Regulations, the home killing of an animal and any related operations shall only be carried out by persons with the appropriate level of competence to do so without causing the animals any pain, distress or suffering; on behalf of the owner, at the owner’s property, for domestic consumption.
For further information please follow click here. The consultation closes on the 28th October 2019.
iii) Sustainable Farming and our Land
The Welsh Government has announced the launch of a second consultation on the future of farm payments in Wales which follows on from the 2018 ‘Brexit and Our Land’ consultation.
See here for the consultation document. Deadline for responses is 30th October 2019.
iv) Animal Exhibits
Animal Exhibits (AEs) are diverse and there is no current licensing regime or requirements for routine inspections, therefore animal welfare standards are not guaranteed. In addition, the Performing Animals Act 1925 requires performing animals to be registered with Local Authorities which currently have no end date, nor does the Act define what is meant by a ‘performing animal’.
Following a 2017 consultation, the decision was made in April 2019 to include all AEs which meet a given criteria. Lesley Griffiths, Minister, also laid out a proposed Wild Animals and Circuses (Wales) Bill to the National Assembly in July 2019 which proposes to make it an offence for a wild animal to be used in a travelling circus.
The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Animal Exhibits) (Wales) Regulations 2020 will introduce a requirement for AEs which meet a given criteria to be licensed by their Local Authority. The scheme will provide for checks to be made to ensure good welfare standards are maintained and that animals are exhibited in a way that encourages respectful and responsible attitudes towards all species.
The consultation outlines that (a) Keeping animals primarily for dairy farming and livestock breeding and keeping and (c) Keeping or training animals for sporting purposes would be exempt from requiring a licence (as well as other categories).
Please follow click here for the consultation document. Deadline for responses is 21st November 2019.
(v) Ageing Of Sheep At Slaughter
Welsh Government, DEFRA and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) are seeking views on the proposal to change English and Welsh legislation for ageing sheep at slaughter for the removal of certain body parts.
Currently, Specified Risk Material (SRM) is removed from sheep over 12 months of age as declared through dentition (checking teeth) for preventing Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) in the interest of public health.
Instead, the consultation proposes an (optional) alternative method for the ageing of sheep at slaughter: Sheep born in the previous calendar year and submitted for slaughter in the calendar year following their birth after an annual cut-off date of 30 June must be considered as aged over 12 months and therefore would require the removal of the spinal cord as SRM. Sheep born in the previous calendar year and submitted for slaughter in the calendar year following their birth before an annual cut-off date of 30 June would be considered as aged under 12 months and would not require removal of the spinal cord as SRM.
The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) have confirmed that this approach would not compromise existing food safety. It is proposed that the new approach would allow farmers to adjust their flock management and minimize the splitting of lambs aged under 12 months. It is estimated that this could result in indirect savings of up to £24 million a year for the industry.
Please follow click here for the consultation document. Responses by 31st October 2019.