As part of a draft document for a national strategy on animal welfare, it has been recommended that anyone dealing with animals is trained or educated to an appropriate level. The document sets out a vision for Ireland to become increasingly recognised as a country that promotes and assures the welfare of all animals.
To achieve the vision it sets out five strategic outcomes, of which training is one. It is hoped that improved animal welfare standards lead to a benefit for the economics of farming.
Speaking at today’s animal welfare conference, Minister Michael Creed said: “The understanding from all parts of the community on the need to treat animals with suitable care and appropriate husbandry has greatly improved.
"However, with such a large population of animals in Ireland operating in so many different aspects of Irish life, animal welfare is an area that will always require attention.”
Animal owners are identified as carrying the primary responsibility for ensuring animals welfare but those involved in areas such as their transport and slaughter are also sighted as having a responsibility
It is advised that Ireland establish minimum acceptable standard on welfare and support initiatives that see animals housed and cared for in even better ways. It is also recommended that Ireland engages in international dialogue on best animal practise and the country becomes better recognised for its high welfare standards.
Animal owners are identified as carrying the primary responsibility for ensuring animals welfare but those involved in areas such as their transport and slaughter are also sighted as having a responsibility.
Codes of practise
In order to achieve the outcomes a number of actions are recommended. New and updated codes of practise for various sectors should be developed. Changes to research agenda is advised in places such as Teagasc to ensure animal welfare is given due attention.
It is envisaged that Quality Assurance Schemes be adapted to improve their ability to meet societal concerns on animal welfare.
At present, the document is only a draft and further submissions to the Department of Agriculture are welcomed until 31 October after which a finalised document will be published.