Tue, 23 Jan 2018
To assist members of the veterinary profession and public to better understand farm assurance schemes on the basis of animal health and welfare, the British Veterinary Association has developed a farm assurance schemes policy position, setting out seven guiding principles.
Farm assurance schemes enable customers to make sustainable and ethically informed choices about the food they buy, and allow producers to demonstrate their food products have met independently certified standards at each stage of the supply chain from farm to fork. The breadth of UK farm assurance schemes is testament to the UK’s leadership in animal health and welfare standards. However, this variety could create a confusing customer experience when food shoppers are navigating both ethical and budgetary considerations as well as the shopping aisles.
BVA’s policy position has been developed as part of BVA’s Animal Welfare Strategy and sets out that the veterinary profession has a key role to play in helping inform the public about the animal health and welfare credentials of animal derived food. Based on the five welfare needs set out in the UK Animal Welfare Acts and highlighting the importance of welfare outcomes, through the new position’s seven principles BVA is encouraging consumers to consider schemes that include:
BVA President, John Fishwick, said:
We recognise that getting the stamp of approval from farm assurance schemes incurs costs to producers and farmers but we believe that they bring essential value through improving animal health and welfare. As part of our Brexit lobbying, we are recommending that animal health and welfare is recognised as public goods and we’re calling on the Government to ensure any replacement Common Agricultural Policy monies provide financial support to farms and producers in this area, for example through a Welfare Stewardship Scheme.
As reported by BVA