Crisis Response for Animal Welfare
The Crisis Response for Animal Welfare (CRAW) project investigated circumstances where livestock businesses are unable to care for their animals and require external stakeholders to assist or take control over. Animal welfare crises include any event that threatens business continuity such as a natural disaster, or a property-specific crisis such as the sudden death or injury of a producer, system malfunctions or a farm ‘walk-off’.
The project report indicated that there could be improvements in how Australia manages animal welfare crises arising from localised, small-scale issues like farm walk offs, sudden deaths and system malfunctions. However, the report determined that Australia is well placed to manage large scale animal welfare crises that arise from events such as natural disasters and emergency animal disease outbreaks with the community playing an important role in supporting producers during these large scale events.
The report made 13 recommendations to improve Australia’s capability in responding to livestock welfare crises. There are recommendations for the state and federal governments, industry and due to its integral role during property-specific crises, the finance sector.
In summary the key recommendations are:
- develop a tool kit to guide animal welfare contingency planning for producers
- formalise industry’s role and responsibility in dealing with animal welfare crisis responses
- clarify the use of industry held funds, reserves and resources in responding to animal welfare crises
- retain lead in responding to animal welfare crises
- improve animal welfare crisis response plans, response tactics and national coordination arrangements
- develop policies, guidelines and training for finance staff that consider livestock welfare during a property closure or financial hardship being experienced by producers
The project was commissioned by Animal Health Australia (AHA) on behalf of the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS) Livestock and Production Animals Working Group. Funding support was provided by the Australian Government, Meat and Livestock Australia, Dairy Australia and Australian Wool Innovation. AHA managed the project with input from a Steering Committee involving industry and government representatives.