English Group Strategy on Animal Welfare Act 2006

Join The Parrot Society UK

The second meeting of interested Bird Keepers, this includes all types of feathered birds from small Finches, Parrots, Park Birds, Pigeons, and waterfowl as well as Fancy Poultry, and Birds of Prey etc. was held at Coventry on Saturday 8th March and this was open to all.

This was a joint venture between the Parrot Society and the National Council of Aviculture after both parties being asked by H.M. Government to set up a working group to look into the Animal Welfare act of 2006.

This has been ongoing for three years and the Chairman of the P.S. Colin O’Hara has met many Members of Parliament and has now forged a good working relationship with them, he has worked exceptionally hard and spent many hours in long discussions with the right people on behalf of Bird Keepers. We were fortunate enough to have Mr Peter Scott present on behalf of D.E.F.R.A

Presentation by Mr Peter Scott

Mr Scott said that there are various misconceptions about the AWA 2006 and he wanted to clarify the position. He works mainly on commercial fish (trout) as his ‘day job’ but he is an enthusiastic bird keeper (parrots) and a part time avian veterinary surgeon. He joined the English Implementation Group (EIG) near the end of 2006, this group is the ‘bridge’ between animal keepers and DEFRA and is doing a large amount of work in respect of the secondary legislation relating to the AWA 2006.

He said that the AWA is vastly important for all animal keepers. There are five freedoms that all animals are entitled to receive.

  • From thirst, hunger or malnutrition
  • From thermal or physical discomfort
  • From pain, injury or disease
  • From fear and distress
  • To express normal patterns of behaviour

Plus two extra

  • Freedom from stress or suffering when transported
  • Freedom from stress or suffering when slaughter

Mr Scott described how we have arrived at the present position and said that much of the AWA 2006 has been driven by the needs of farmed animals (cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry). There is a need to document the whole of animal keeping. A good strategy document has been produced by the equine world and bird keepers would do well to produce a document along similar lines. There is a Companion Animal Site at that has valuable information.

Following his presentation he took questions from the floor.

After a very informal meeting it was decided we needed nine separate working committees as listed. We were fortunate in finding eight volunteers for eight of the segments.