The welfare implications of breeding and breeding technologies in commercial livestock agriculture
On behalf of the Animal Welfare Committee, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) is pleased to invite you to an online presentation where the Animal Welfare Committee will introduce their new project on ‘The welfare implications of breeding and breeding technologies in commercial livestock agriculture’. This is an opportunity for stakeholders and interested parties to learn about the project and raise any questions.
Further information about the event The purpose of this introductory event is for the Animal Welfare Committee to outline the plans for the project, including plans for further engagement. This meeting will be in webinar format and attendees will be able to submit questions during the meeting. Opportunities for more detailed discussions will take place after this initial meeting. This is the first of a series of stakeholder meetings with the Animal Welfare Committee, who will engage with stakeholders in a range of formats to gather views and evidence to support this project.
Please save the date: 10-11am on Friday 15th September. A meeting link will follow by email in due course Please forward this invitation to any other individuals or organisations who may be interested. We welcome representatives from livestock breeding businesses, livestock farmers, breed societies, academics with expertise in livestock breeding, animal welfare NGOs, and any other organisations with an interest in livestock breeding.
Background The Government supports the production of healthy, high welfare animals as part of the UK’s food system, and we believe that a responsible and evidence-led approach to animal breeding is essential. It is over 10 years since the Farm Animal Welfare Committee (FAWC) provided a report on livestock breeding to Defra and there have been a number of technological advances during this period, including even greater emphasis on genetic selection in breeding programmes and the Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Act gaining Royal Assent in March 2023 – which unlocks the potential for precision breeding of plants and animals using technologies such as gene editing. Defra is interested in gaining an up-to-date picture of the impacts, benefits, opportunities and risks associated with selective breeding and breeding technologies used in the production of food animals. It is also important that the development of secondary legislation under the Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Act is informed by evidence for selective breeding practices used more widely. That is why Defra has commissioned the Animal Welfare Committee (FAWC’s successor) to provide advice and recommendations on ‘The welfare implications of breeding and breeding technologies in commercial livestock agriculture’. The review will explore changes and developments over the past 10 years since the time of the previous FAWC opinion in 2012 and the final output will be a report by the Animal Welfare Committee. The 2012 FAWC opinion can be found here: FAWC opinion on the welfare implications of breeding and breeding technologies in commercial livestock agriculture - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)