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Written Statement - Publication of the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Implementation Plan for 2017/18

Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs
The “Wales Animal Health & Welfare Framework - Achieving High Standards Together” sets out the approach we are taking to achieve continued and lasting improvements in standards of animal health and welfare.  Our vision is captured in a number of shared outcomes: Wales should have healthy productive animals with a good quality of life; people trust and have confidence in the way our food is produced and the way public health is protected and Wales has a thriving economy and a high quality environment. These outcomes contribute to the seven well-being goals set out in the Well-Being of Future Generations Act 2015. Animal health and welfare makes a major contribution to the sustainability of the livestock sector, to the wider food and farming industry and more broadly to the countryside, the environment, communities and the economy.

This is the third annual Implementation Plan published under the Framework, demonstrating our continued commitment to progress priorities for animal health and welfare in Wales. It is being published at a time when there is much uncertainty surrounding what may happen post EU Exit. The Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework and our annual implementation plans, ensure we have in place an agreed approach for continued improvement of animal health and welfare standards. The scope of the Implementation Plan is wide ranging but through real collaborative working we can continue to raise animal health and welfare standards and promote healthy Welsh livestock, protect human health, the environment and safeguard the local economy.

Partnership working remains fundamental to the successful implementation of the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework. I am grateful to the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Group, chaired by Peredur Hughes, for their commitment and support in preparing this plan. A copy of the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Implementation Plan 2017/18 can be accessed here www.gov.wales/ahwframework

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.