Australian Animal Welfare Advisory Committee - AusAWAC
Please note: This NCCAW committee has been disbanded and replaced by the AAWAC.
NCCAW is a non-statutory body established by the then Minister for Primary Industries and Energy in 1989. Its functions were to:
- assess and advise the Federal Government on the national implications of welfare issues affecting animals
- advise on the effectiveness and appropriateness of national codes of practice, policies, guidelines and legislation to safeguard or further the welfare of animals and protect the national interest
- liaise with other relevant bodies such as the Animal Welfare Working Group (which is a working group of Animal Health Committee)
- other functions that were required or conferred on the committee by the Minister.
The Report on the NCCAW Review, which was undertaken in late 2006, recommended that a smaller NCCAW be established to operate as an advisory committee to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and that at the conclusion of the AAWS implementation in June 2009 there be a transition to a new larger advisory committee with a broader range of functions.
The consideration of this review in the context of the AAWS places an emphasis on the need to develop appropriate structures for long-term animal welfare activities and policy advice. As government and stakeholder consideration of an ongoing national animal welfare strategy beyond 2009 had not yet commenced, the review focused on interim arrangements until such time as broader animal welfare arrangements are clear.
The Minister agreed to the recommendation of the NCCAW Review Report that, as an interim measure, NCCAW be retained as an advisory committee until 30 June 2009 with the terms of reference and membership recommended except, given the importance of the welfare of horses in sport and recreation, that there also be a member with expertise in these areas. The Minister requested that a representative of the racing industry be included.
The Minister agreed in principle to the NCCAW Review recommendation that an Australian Animal Welfare Council be established to replace NCCAW at the conclusion of the AAWS implementation period on 30 June 2009 but decided that a final decision on this recommendation be taken closer to that date.
Dr John Drinan, Chairman of the AAWS Advisory Committee, has been appointed by the Minister as Chairman of the new NCCAW. This appointment will greatly assist coordination of the AAWS implementation with the work of NCCAW.
Download the Report on the Review of the National Consultative Committee on Animal Welfare Word [247kb]
The report on the NCCAW review recommended that, as an interim measure, NCCAW be retained as an advisory committee to the Commonwealth Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, with the following Terms of Reference:
- Assess and advise the Commonwealth Government on the implications of issues and developments affecting the welfare of animals.
- Advise on the relevance and effectiveness of existing and possible future Australian animal welfare arrangements including policies, regulation, codes of practice and guidelines.
- Liaise with the AAWS Advisory Committee and report to the Minister on the implementation of the Strategy.
- Liaise with other relevant bodies, including AWWG and AHC.
- Other functions that may be required or conferred on the committee by the Minister.
The AAWS Advisory Committee was established in 2005 to oversee delivery of the key AAWS priorities and targets outlined in the National Implementation Plan. Sectoral Working Groups, one for each of the six AAWS animal use sectors, have been established to deliver the AAWS priorities at the sectoral level. They are accountable to the Advisory Committee. In addition, the AAWS Advisory Committee has established cross-sectoral working groups on communications, education and training and coordination of animal welfare research.
There is strong cross-membership between NCCAW and the AAWS Advisory Committee. Dr John Drinan chairs both committees. Dr Hugh Wirth, representing RSPCA Australia and Dr Kevin Doyle, representing the Australian Veterinary Association, are also members of both committees.
Animal Welfare Branch
Product Integrity, Animal and Plant Health Division
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Email the Animal Welfare Branch
16 Jan 2012