Consultation outcome

Farm animal welfare codes reform

This consultation has concluded

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Detail of outcome

We received 46 responses to this consultation.

Original consultation


The purpose of this consultation is to seek views on the proposal to reform the existing system of on farm animal welfare guidance.

This consultation was held on another website.

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

This consultation focuses on the principle of moving from statutory farm animal welfare codes to guidance that is drafted collaboratively but led by the relevant livestock industry.

The objective of this proposal is to ensure that guidance on how keepers comply with farm animal welfare legislation is up to date, reflecting the latest scientific and veterinary knowledge whilst being presented in the most relevant way for farmers.

The Government is seeking views on reforming the farm animal welfare codes because existing Defra farm animal welfare codes, are statutory and thus any changes require the provision of Parliamentary time and legislative preparation. All are now out-of-date, with many over 20 years old and some not including significant legislative changes that have occurred since.

In line with the conclusions of the Macdonald Task Force Report, one of the benefits of such guidance is that it can be updated more easily than statutory codes to reflect the latest scientific and technical developments in animal husbandry.

Published 27 June 2013
Last updated 17 December 2015 + show all updates
  1. Government response added.
  2. Interim response document added.
  3. First published.