The Australian Government, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, has provided significant international leadership in the development of the 'Regional Animal Welfare Strategy: Asia, the Far East and Oceania' (RAWS) in association with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
In November 2007, 37 participants from 12 countries in the Asian region and three international organisations participated in a successful animal welfare workshop. The workshop endorsed the development of a broad-based strategic plan to implement the OIE Standards for Animal Welfare in the region. A writing group was established to draft the RAWS and in May 2008 the first edition of the RAWS was endorsed by the OIE International Committee and the OIE Regional Commission for Asia, the Far East and Oceania.
The RAWS represents a broad based overarching framework to facilitate implementation of OIE animal welfare standards, coordinate animal welfare activities and to address emerging issues. The RAWS is a ‘living document’ and will be amended as appropriate in the light of experience. Ultimately the development of detailed national welfare strategies is the responsibility of member countries.
In April 2011, the RAWS Coordination Group (RAWS CG) was established to develop and monitor the RAWS implementation. The RAWS CG is comprised of OIE regional representatives, industry, and an animal welfare international non-governmental organization as its members. As of September 2013 the RAWS CG has met 6 times to discuss progress and develop recommendations. Key achievements include:
- Training in livestock handling in Malaysia
- The development of national animal welfare strategies by various members
- The translation of the RAWS into regional languages
- Distribution of a regular RAWS newsletter
- Development of an Action Plan to define and track activities under the RAWS
- Endorsement and publication of RAWS edition 2 (2013-2015)*
RAWS edition 2 (2013-2015) updates the first edition, outlining the regional animal welfare achievements and progress under the RAWS since its establishment in 2008. Edition 2 does not change the basic and endorsed OIE policies, principles and vision of the strategy, as these are still central to improving animal welfare in the region.
* RAWS publications are not owned by the department and may not meet Australian Government accessibility guidelines. If you require an accessible version of the publication, please contact its author.