As part of the Union’s on-going commitment to issues relating to animal welfare, endemic and exotic diseases and public health, the FUW established this new Committee in 2012, focusing on Animal Health and Welfare issues in Wales.
With the exception of the additional costs conferred during a disease outbreak, over £300 million per annum is currently spent on UK animal health and welfare issues. In the 2009/2010 financial year, Defra spent £356.5 million on animal health and welfare. Of this, £56 million was spent on bovine TB, the single largest area of spend.
It is essential that the FUW continues to provide a strong voice on animal health and welfare issues to government, to ensure that disease management policies are appropriate and practical for welsh farmers to contribute towards. On 1st April 2011, the animal health and welfare budget was transferred to Wales, with funding being allocated on an historic spending and animal number basis. Wales will receive £21 million for the 2011/2012 financial years, although spend pertaining to research and surveillance matters will continue to be centrally funded. This new FUW committee is therefore in an ideal position to help influence the animal health and welfare priorities for Wales, 2012 onwards.