In 2012, the 6th AAWS National Workshop stakeholders with varied backgrounds and interests considered the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy. All participants expressed a strong desire to improve the welfare of animals in Australia. A ‘State of the Nation’ report into animal welfare in Australia emerged as a key priority to provide a benchmark for achieving this.
AUSAWAC engaged the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) to produce a scoping document about what such a report might provide to stakeholders and how it might look. A copy of the scoping paper is attached.
A presentation of the scoping paper was made at the AAWS 7th National Workshop in July 2013 and feedback sought from the attendees during the presentations and through working group discussions immediately following the workshop.
Feedback from workshop participants was considered at the AUSWAC meeting held immediately after the workshop and included:
• Positive comment on the scoping report, in particular the proposed structure of a State of the Nation report for animal welfare and the significant effort that went into the scoping report
• There was no clear position as to what the target audience was for this report. A generic reporting mechanism on AAWS was supported in principle but should not impact the AAWS budget to the expense of other priorities. Some suggested that the annual reporting framework should be funded but through an independent stand alone funding mechanism.
• Any reporting system should include the monitoring and evaluation function.
AUSAWAC took all comments into account including the high cost of developing a fully fledged National ‘State of the Nation Report’ and agreed to an incremental approach to developing such a reporting framework.
The next stage of the work plan is a three-step process:
• a stocktake of the data available within government and non government agencies dealing with animal welfare, and understanding the quality of that data and any gaps within it;
• further development of the performance indicators and goals against which any future measuring could take place through working groups and AUSAWAC; and
• assessing a suitable monitoring and evaluation system to be used.
This work will be accommodated within the existing agreed budget, will not involve transfer of funds from other AAWS activities (for example Projects), and will lead to improved annual reporting of the AAWS to stakeholders. Efforts will be supported to obtain additional resources.
Working Groups and Cross Sectoral Working Groups will be advised of progress.