Rebecca Evans, Deputy Minister for Farming and Food
My vision for Wales is of a modern, professional and profitable agricultural industry. Integral to this is that Wales achieves and maintains the highest standards of animal health and welfare to improve incomes and realise our potential in the market place. The way we treat animals is also an important reflection of the values of our society.
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: that Wales should have healthy productive animals with a good quality of life; that people trust and have confidence in the way our food is produced and the way public health is protected; that Wales has a thriving economy and a high quality environment. These outcomes also contribute to the seven well-being goals set out in the Future Generations Act for a prosperous, resilient, healthy, more equal Wales, with a thriving culture and cohesive communities, and a Wales which is globally responsible.
This is the first annual Implementation Plan published under the Framework. It sets out the key areas for action in 2015/16. These actions can help achieve and sustain profitable farm businesses, helping to safeguard and create jobs. More broadly, achieving high standards of animal health and welfare will help protect the economy from the economic impacts of a disease outbreak, impacts which can be felt within the agriculture sector, food industry and public sector as well as wider impacts - for example, on tourism.
This will be a challenging year and we must work together to maximise our impact by using the opportunities offered through the new Rural Development Plan for Wales and the Food and Drink Action Plan. Partnership working is fundamental to the successful implementation of the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework and to this end 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 2015/16 can be accessed online.