Expanded international collaborating centre focusing on animal welfare

29 May 2009

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) congratulates the Massey University Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre, the AgResearch Animal Behaviour and Welfare Research Centre and their Australian partners on being recognised as an expanded World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Collaborating Centre.

The OIE approved the application for the expanded centre at its annual General Session in Paris today. Massey University first achieved recognition as an OIE Collaborating Centre in 2007.

Today’s announcement of the expansion to that centre to now include the Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre (Massey), the AgResearch Animal Behaviour and Welfare Research Centre (Ruakura), the Animal Welfare Science Centre based in Victoria, the Centre for Animal Welfare Ethics (University of Queensland) and the Division of Livestock Industries (CSIRO, Australia) reflects the strong existing collaboration between all five agencies that is now formalised and internationally recognised.

The application to expand the centre was supported by MAF and the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF). The Centre will work with the OIE in the development of international guidelines and standards on animal welfare and will provide further opportunity for collaboration with similar organisations internationally.

The OIE international animal welfare leadership mandate includes livestock production animals, wild animals, those used in research testing and teaching, as well as animals used for work, sport, recreational and display purposes.

MAF Director of Animal Welfare, David Bayvel, said that given such a broad mandate the need for animal welfare scientific support will increase progressively.

“This need can now be met by a well co-ordinated, regional grouping comprising internationally recognised centres of animal welfare science excellence”

“This expanded centre recognises the international standing of all the agencies involved in New Zealand and Australia and their contributions to global animal welfare developments”.

The primary role of the centre is the provision of expert scientific, bioethical and educational advice for the OIE. Other roles will include the provision of scientific and technical training, the organisation of appropriate scientific meetings, and the coordination of scientific and technical studies in collaboration with other organisations.

Issued by:

Lisa Gibbison
Communications Advisor
MAF Biosecurity New Zealand
Ph: 04 894 0432 or 029 894 0432
Email: lisa.gibbison@maf.govt.nz

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