At the fourth Australian Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (AUSAWAC) meeting in September 2012 a working group was formed to consider and secure short to long term improvements to knowledge and implementation of animal welfare in Australia under the AAWS framework. The working group known as the Enhancing Collaboration Working Group developed an AAWS ‘roadmap’ to 2030.
A scoping study was undertaken from November 2012 to June 2013 looking at current impediments to collaboration and opportunities for co-investment. This stage 1 report outlines findings from interviews with a wide variety of AAWS stakeholders across a wide sample of production and non-production sectors. AAWS sectoral and cross-sectoral working group discussion at the 7th AAWS national workshop confirmed and expanded upon the findings, such as improving working group roles and responsibilities, understanding market drivers, engaging more effectively with target audiences and the AUSAWAC having greater policy and political influence.
Although the comments from the stakeholders interviewed do not represent all the views or topics of the various sectors, the stage 1 interviews give an indication of the diversity of views on animal welfare issues. The stakeholder interviews have helped shape a comprehensive design for future interviews. Stakeholders will have the opportunity for input and commentary during the development of a collaborative framework and the AAWS into the future.
AAWS national workshop participants agreed that further work should be undertaken on Enhancing Collaboration and that this should be done in conjunction with other AUSWAWAC strategic directions work: a State of the Nation report on animal welfare, application of an AAWS Monitoring and Evaluation framework and measuring the impact of AAWS communication activities on stakeholder and community attitudes.
At the working group meetings on 1 August 2013 the ‘raw comments’ from the stakeholder interviews (Table 2) were discussed along with their accompanying possible implications for verification and feedback.
AUSAWAC considered progression of Enhancing Collaboration work at its meeting on 2 August 2013 and it agreed that the strategic directions work should be further progressed and integrated as much as possible. In the coming months the Enhancing Collaboration Working Group will be considering the next steps to act on findings in the scoping report and feedback received from the AAWS working groups. This will likely involve a ‘problem analysis’ of the top four issues identified in the report. A three tiered approach will be applied: maintain the status quo, augment the program, or apply transformative arrangements to bring about improvements.