DEFRA has accepted several recommendations made by the Farm Animal Welfare Council to improve the welfare considerations of breeding animals and the use of advanced breeding practices.

Of the eight recommendations made to DEFRA in 2004 it has accepted or partially accepted four recommendations.  These include establishing surveillance systems to monitor on-farm welfare problems associated with breeding, and to monitor farms where new breed types or new breeding technologies are first introduced into commercial practice.  In affect the use of embryo transfer and artificial insemination in the breeding of high-quality sires.

Junior DEFRA minister Jeff Rooker said: “We have accepted or partially accepted four of these as we agree that they form a sensible approach for addressing the issue of breeding and breeding technologies in the future.

“Of those that we have rejected, we have done so as we believe that they are already addressed by current legislation, a new EU-wide breeding code, and the breeding industry’s increasing recognition of the importance of animal welfare.”