Memorandum submitted by Performing Animals
Welfare Standards International (PAWSI)
PAWSI is primarily concerned with the protection
of animals which work in the audio visual industry. Over the last
15 years Rona Brown and Peter Scott have spearheaded a drive to
introduce qualifications for personnel who wish to work with animals
in the audio visual industries.
This has resulted in qualifications under the
NVQ system, levels 2 and 3 being completed and we hope to launch
these levels at a PAWSISparsholt symposium on 2 October
2004. PAWSI personnel with Skillset the skills sector council
for the media industry have been working on this since 1989.
PAWSI is also working with Lantra to produce
level 4 and beyond.
PAWSI has worked tirelessly with Henry Hoppe
and his team on this Animal Welfare Bill over recent times and
are always open to new and relevant ideas to promote a duty of
care to animals in the media.
PAWSI have produced a code of practice for persons
working with animals in the media and this is available by requestplease
visit the PAWSI website www.pawsi.org
This code of practice, which has been incorporated
into other countries code of practice for animals in the media,
should be a corner stone for animals which work in the media.
PAWSI welcome the proposed Animal Welfare Bill
with regard to its duty of care to animal owners and holders.
PAWSI also recognise that the old Animal Welfare Acts are out
of date and as such fairly useless in their powers.
Like all Governments Actsanimal consideration
in terms of welfare have moved on in enormous boundswhat
was thought to be perfectly normal 75 years ago with regard to
the treatment of animals is now thought to be perfectly ghastly.
Sowhat's to do?
With regard to animals which work in the audio
PAWSI would like to see all personnel who train,
work with, supply and or are responsible for supplying animals
to the audio visual industry licensed.
PAWSI believe that to licence animals is a fruitless
and time consuming task that will never be viableeach person
supplying animals to the media industry has on their lists thousands
of animals which are available on a day to day basis.
If the onus is placed on the supplierthe
person responsible for the animal on the work place floor the
welfare of that animal will be paramount.
Every supplier has thousands of contacts with
animals available to them at the drop of a hathowever if
a particular breed of dog is the in thingit is just as
whimsically dropped so therefore a supplier may have a thousand
Dulux dogs at his disposalsome may be good with childrensome
may be good with rainand so onsome one else wanting
to advertise something will not want a Dulux dog as it has been
used. To licence all those Dulux dog owners is impossiblealso
they may never work in the media again.
Also the working life of an animal is such that
there is only a short "working window" when an animal
is suitable to work in the media so the knock on time available
is reduced to two or three years.
PAWSI believe that personnel who supply and
train animals for the media industry should be licensed and responsible
for producing; animals which suit the brief; animals suitably
trained for media work; personnel who understand the parameters
of the media industry; animal species specific qualified personnel.
With regard to other industriesthere
should also be an industry specific code of conduct/practice which
allows an animal welfare paramount template. One thought does
not necessarily fit all so the Bill needs to address different
PAWSI agree to the proposals throughout the
proposed Bill through.
1 to 43.
PAWSI has concerns with regard to local inspectorshow
are these inspectors going to be appointed and trainedthe
local authorities cannot cope now how are the proposed new comers
going to take on board all the things proposed? Where will they
learn all the industry specific nuances of animal welfare needed
to judge if an animal is in distress or likely to suffer?
With regard to Animals in distressClause
13Other Powers in relation to animals in distress.
How is an officer or constable going to kill
the animal?this must surely be down to a vet or suitable
person in receipt of a humane killer. Do you mean we shall equip
our animal officers with guns? How will this work?this
is over the top and not practicableis this any different
from what the law allows now?
There are many such variants in this bill and
these need to be addressed.
With regard to Annex Kthe idea that the
RSPCA could be responsible for providing a national database of
licences or even prosecutions would leave a loop hole for other
animal rights organisations to have access to all personslegal
or otherwise and therefore provide a clear and direct route for
extreme animal activists into the heart of persons carrying out
their humane animal related legitimate business.
Animal charities and pressure groups should
have no power in government business nor be part of any database
used in animal welfare. This would be in direct opposition to
the human rights legislation.
PAWSI agree with all issue relating to animal
welfare as long as it is not subjectivewe would ask as
to who decides what is right or wrong? obviously cruelty
is not acceptable in any form but who decides what is and is not
acceptable. If this is subjective who decides who is subjective
15 August 2004