Animal Welfare Committee (AWC)

AWC advises the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales on the welfare of animals. This includes farmed, companion and wild animals kept by people.

FAWC renamed (1 October 2019)

FAWC was renamed the Animal Welfare Committee (AWC) on 1 October 2019.

Our terms of reference

  1. The Animal Welfare Committee (AWC) is an expert committee of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Scottish and Welsh Governments.

  2. The Committee’s Terms of Reference are:

(i) To provide independent, authoritative, impartial and timely advice, to Defra and the Scottish and Welsh Governments:

  • on the welfare of farmed animals, including farmed animals on agricultural land, at market, in transit and at the place of killing
  • on any other matters that might be considered necessary to improve standards of animal welfare

(ii) To provide independent, authoritative, impartial, and timely advice, to Defra and the Welsh Government:

  • on the welfare of companion animals and wild animals kept by people

(iii) To provide independent scientific support and advice, as requested, in line with Article 20 of Committee Regulation (EC) No.1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing (also advising the Northern Ireland Assembly in this respect).

New appointments

AWC is appointing three new members to provide specialist expertise:

  • post A: An expert in farm animal welfare with practical experience in the beef and sheep sectors
  • post B: An expert in welfare of wild animals kept by people
  • post C: An expert in welfare of companion animals

See the Application information pack 2019 (ZIP, 526KB)

Completed applications should be returned by 12 noon on 30 October 2019 by email to awcsecretariat@defra.gov.uk or by post to:

AWC Secretariat Area 2D, Nobel House 17 Smith Square LONDON SW1P 3JR

Our priorities

Our priorities are to:

  • provide advice to government on future farming reforms to deliver welfare enhancements
  • provide advice to government on the welfare of companion animals and wild animals kept by people
  • review dairy and beef cattle production systems and the welfare of animals
  • provide quality assurance for revised codes of practice for the welfare of farmed livestock
  • respond to governments’ requests for scientific support on the welfare of farmed animals at the time of killing
  • work closely with the European Forum of Animal Welfare Councils (EuroFAWC)

Our members

Members of this group are:

  • Peter Jinman, Chair, past President, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
  • Martin Barker, pig farmer
  • Dr Andy Butterworth, veterinary surgeon
  • Richard Cooper, veterinary surgeon
  • Dr Jane Downes, independent veterinary consultant
  • Dr Troy Gibson, Lecturer in Animal Welfare Science, Royal Veterinary College
  • Dr David Grumett, Senior Lecturer in Theology and Ethics, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Maria Carmen Hubbard, agricultural economist
  • Richard Jennison, veterinary surgeon
  • Richard Kempsey, poultry farmer
  • Dr Dorothy McKeegan, Senior Lecturer, University of Glasgow
  • Debbie Stanton, ruminant farmer and livestock assurance scheme manager
  • Mark White, veterinary surgeon

Secretariat address

AWC Secretariat Area 2D, Nobel House 17 Smith Square LONDON SW1P 3JR

Contact details

awcsecretariat@defra.gov.uk