Launch of the Farmer and Animal Welfare Network

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A new Farmer and Animal Welfare Network (FAWN) has been launched.

This initiative sees the fulfillment of a commitment in the Department of Agriculture’s Animal Welfare Strategy 2021-2025, with the renewal and rebranding of what was previously the Early Warning System.

Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue was joined by Ciara Feeney Reid, Chair of the Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Council (FAWAC), to launch the network.

“FAWAC has recognized the importance of building on the success of the previous early warning system with a renewed emphasis on collaboration and cooperation under the renamed and re-energized FAWN umbrella,” Mr. McConalogue said.

Farm animal welfare

The early warning system was an initiative originally introduced in 2004 by FAWAC, involving the Ministry of Agriculture and stakeholders.

The system was intended to provide a framework within which farm animal welfare issues can be identified and resolved before they become critical or overwhelming.

The ministry said it has raised awareness of various factors related to animal welfare issues and enabled intervention at an earlier stage, preventing more serious incidents from occurring.

“Animal welfare is increasingly important to Irish citizens, and we are increasingly aware of the interrelationship between animal welfare and human health and wellbeing,” continued Ms. McConalogue.

“FAWN seeks to embrace the ‘one health, one welfare’ philosophy by recognizing this interconnectedness and assisting the farming community to avoid and mitigate animal welfare issues through positive interaction with our network of FAWN clusters.

“Providing high animal welfare standards is a job for everyone in our society; for those who own, care for or are responsible for animals, whether on the farm or at home.

“Together we can ensure that as a society we give our pets, farmed and wild animals the respect, care and high welfare standards they deserve.”

Ms Feeney Reid commented: “The overall aim of the renewal is to improve accessibility and incentive for the farming community to engage with FAWN, recognizing the links between human and animal welfare and the importance of early intervention in the event of a problem.

“FAWN’s primary goal is to help identify and resolve animal welfare issues and prevent a deterioration of any predicament through collaboration and communication.”

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