Defra abandons move to industry-led animal welfare codes

Defra has abandoned its plans to devolve the updating of the UK’s animal welfare codes to individual livestock sectors, the first of which was due to be published by the British Poultry Council (BPC).

It has now been decided to keep the process “in house” with a Defra spokesperson revealing that the change of approach had been made “in light of views raised”.

“We have given the matter further consideration and believe we can achieve this objective (high welfare standards) by retaining the existing statutory codes,” said the spokesperson.

Adding that the work of the farming industry has been invaluable in this process, the spokesperson said that Defra wanted to “draw more closely on the expertise of the farming industry” in future to ensure the country’s welfare codes reflect the very latest scientific and veterinary developments.

Defra also made it clear that no changes were ever planned to farm animal welfare legislation, or the strict enforcement and penalties that apply.

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