THE Western Australian Farmers Federation (WAFarmers) will take active steps to secure a seat on the animal ethics committee to represent farmers and industry on all decisions made concerning the welfare of animals, following a motion moved at last week's WAFarmers 2010 Annual Conference.
Farming delegates from across Western Australia moved that WAFarmers urgently seeks to secure a seat on the Department of Agriculture and Food WA’s (DAFWA) Animal Ethics Committee (AEC).
It is a legal requirement, and a requirement of DAFWA, that all proposed experimental, educational or display activities must be approved by the AEC, which is comprised of individuals committed to furthering the welfare of animals.
WAFarmers President, Mike Norton, said it was vital that farmers and industry were represented on the AEC, taking into account the importance of controlled research activities, and the high level of commitment shown by farmers and industry towards animal welfare.
“The current membership of the AEC is hampering research in this State, as many scientists are reluctant to undertake animal related research due to fear of prosecution,” said Mr Norton.
“Livestock research frequently requires that animals be put under pressure to test their response. There are often variables in this process which cannot be controlled, however this should not stop research and development occurring.
“The Animal Ethics Committee needs representatives who can offer a practical production viewpoint and best represent the farming community,” Mr Norton concluded.
Further information about the WAFarmers 2010 Annual Conference, themed the Path to Market, can be found at www.wafarmers.org.au