Farm Animal Welfare Council

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The Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) was an independent advisory body established by the Government of Great Britain in 1979. FAWC has published its Final Report (PDF 270 KB) before its closure on 31 March 2011. It has been replaced by the Farm Animal Welfare Committee.

Its terms of reference were to keep under review the welfare of farm animals on agricultural land, at market, in transit and at the place of slaughter and advise Government of any changes that may be necessary. The council comprised various Standing Committees and Working Groups that consulted widely and openly about the issues FAWC considered relevant to the welfare of farmed animals and to prepare recommendations for the Council's consideration. Once agreed, the recommendations formed the basis for advice given to Government. Copies of FAWC's Reports and other advice are available on the FAWC website.

The Council's major strength lay in its independence to investigate any topic falling within its remit and to communicate freely with outside bodies, including the European Commission and the public, while maintaining the independence to publish its advice.

The council also established the Five Freedoms for farm animals. These freedoms serve as a basic outline for regulations concerning livestock, poultry, etc.

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