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24 January 1997
The Animal Welfare Advisory Committee’s Code of Recommendations and Minimum Standards for the Welfare of Sheep has proved popular with more than 18,500 copies distributed to date.
The majority of the copies have gone to farmers and more codes are being reprinted as required.
The 40-page code complements legislation by outlining the minimum standards, recommendations and statutory requirements for sheep welfare which are currently acceptable. It is a practical guide for those involved in sheep farming, and is intended to encourage the adoption of the highest standard of husbandry. The code was a
comprehensive revision of the same titled code, published in 1992. It covers issues of appropriate feed, water, shelter, methods of restraint, lambing, breeding, fostering and artificial rearing, mustering and yarding, injuries, castration, shearing, crutching and humane slaughter.
The code was written by a working group established by AWAC and was the subject of extensive consultation with farmers, vets, teachers and welfarists.
MAFRA Animal Welfare administration and publications officer Pam Edwards said the demand for the code was an indication of farmer interest in animal welfare issues.
“Attitudes and husbandry practices have changed a lot in recent years. Research has resulted in improved techniques that animals can benefit from.”
There are 18 AWAC welfare codes in print, with the nineteenth, The Code of Recommendations and Minimum Standards for the Emergency Slaughter of Farm Animals, being published in January.
When the Animal Welfare Bill is passed, all AWAC codes will have enhanced legal standing.
For further information or a copy of the report contact:
Pam Edwards, Animal Welfare and the Environment Section,
MAF Regulatory Authority.
Ph: (04) 474 4129 or fax: (04) 474 4133