The Consultative Process
2.1 Extensive Consultation and Discussion
A ‘stocktake’ report of priorities for each of the six sectors, was finalized in August 20062. The report’s summary comment on R&D requirements emphasized the need “…to support the continuous improvement in animal welfare standards and the development of objective measures and performance indicators. It is also important to ensure there is effective communication between sectors on research and coordination to avoid duplication.”
A science-focused AAWS workshop to scope interest in and implications of a potential bid for an Australian Cooperative Research Centre for animal welfare was held in Sydney on 18 July, 2006. Attendees at that workshop developed a draft set of nine overarching R&D priorities for animal welfare research in Australia. These priority areas were further refined through discussion by each of the six Sectoral Working Groups and sectoral priorities were broadly confirmed at the second AAWS national workshop, held in Melbourne on 23-25 Oct 2006.
That information has been used to develop a set of cross-sectoral animal welfare priorities that has informed the work of the AAWS R&D working group. These are being further refined by sectoral groups in the period to November 2007 and will be considered for endorsement at the December 2007 AAWS workshop.
2.2 Common Research Themes
The 2nd National Workshop affirmed the nine broad cross-sectoral areas for animal welfare research. These are:
- Human/ animal interaction
- The definition of animal welfare
- Pain management
- Assessing the welfare of animals
- Transport issues
- Alternatives/better practice
- Social science issues
2.3 Identified Research Capacity
At the 2nd National Workshop a template was published allowing groups involved in animal welfare research to list their interests and capacities. This template was further used during the work of the R&D working group to identify those areas in which researchers from Australian institutions are currently publishing.
Statements advising current activities were received from:
- Animal Welfare Science Centre, Melbourne
- Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics, University of Queensland
- Invasive Animals CRC
- University of Sydney
- UWA and Murdoch University.
A consolidated document is attached.
2.4 R&D Advisory Group - Site Visits
The R&D Advisory Group met on a number of occasions, both by conference calls and face-to-face during its site visits. The group visited three centres of animal research, viewed facilities and received presentations from researchers. It visited:
- University of Queensland – the Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics at the Gatton campus and the Veterinary School’s Pinjarra Hills facility
- The Animal Welfare Science Centre (a collaborative centre between Monash University, the University of Melbourne, and the Victorian Government Department of Primary Industries) at Werribee and the Victorian DPI Offices at Attwood
- A number of institutions in and around Armidale NSW – three CRCs (Poultry, Beef, and Sheep), research programmes at the University of New England, and the CSIRO Livestock Industries facilities at Chiswick NSW.
09 Oct 2009