Lesley Griffiths AM, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs
The 2019-20 Implementation Plan to support delivery of the commitments made in our “Wales Animal Health & Welfare Framework - Achieving High Standards Together” is published today to ensure continued and lasting improvements in standards of animal health and welfare.
The Implementation Plan sets out our key priorities for raising standards of animal health and welfare and outlines how the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Group will support us to deliver these objectives.
Publication of this Implementation Plan for 2019-20 demonstrates our continued commitment to progress our key animal health and welfare priorities despite the increased pressures of continued Brexit preparations.
Although there remains ongoing uncertainty as we endeavour to negotiate outcomes which are right for Wales, it is important to remember, we do have a long term vision for the future in Wales. The Well-being of Future Generations Act has set us goals to improve the social, economic and cultural well-being of Wales and this continues to underpin all of our work under the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework. Animal health and welfare makes a major contribution to the sustainability of the livestock sector, the wider food and farming industry and more broadly, to the countryside, environment, communities and the economy. This time of unprecedented changes will provide us with a real opportunity to reflect on and identify what we want Wales to look like and to continue to consider those factors which will determine our position in a developing market.
These priorities include taking forward the next phase of the Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD), Sheep scab and Bovine TB Eradication Programmes, as well as continuing to meet our statutory obligations to safeguard the food chain and public health and promote responsible ownership.
The scope of the Implementation Plan is wide ranging and challenging but through 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.
I am grateful to the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Group, chaired by Stephen James, for their commitment and support in preparing this plan. A copy of the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Implementation Plan 2019-20 can be accessed here www.gov.wales/ahwframework
As this statement is being issued during recess, I will be happy to answer any questions when the Assembly reconvenes.