The RCS Advisory Group were established to advise the Secretary of State on how best to realise partnership working within the RCS agenda in England. The coalition government decided to maintain the group.
The group was made up of four Directors of the key animal health work areas within Defra, eleven industry and veterinary representatives - who were nominated by the key livestock industries, and a consumer representative.
The Advisory Group have produced a report, detailing the findings of their work.
The report includes sections on:
- the present situation in animal health and welfare;
- an evaluation framework for assessing options for RCS going forward;
- recommendations for a new governance structure for sharing responsibility;
- recommendations on how the various options for cost sharing should be approached; and
- suggestions on how the recommendations can be implemented.
The main recommendation for enhancing responsibility sharing is the creation of an English Partnership Board. The strategic aim of the Partnership Board would be to reduce the risk and cost of animal disease and improve the welfare of kept animals; but also to rebuild and maintain trust between animal keepers and Defra, and to improve the effectiveness and value for money of policy and delivery.