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Performing Animals Working Group

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 1 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs who the members are of the Performing Animals Working Group; what the remit is of the group; what the criteria are for membership of the group; how many meetings of the group have taken place; if he will place in the Library the minutes of its meetings; and how often the group meets. (97520)

The Performing Animals Working Group was a stakeholder group convened to discuss the proposals outlined in Defra's Regulatory Impact Assessment for regulating performing animals. The group met twice; on 27 October 2005 and 15 December 2005. A summary of these meetings is available on the Defra website at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/welfare/bill/perform_wg.htm.

Membership of the group included representatives of welfare organisations, including the Royal and Scottish Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Dogs Trust and Born Free Foundation; representatives of the audio-visual industry, including Performing Animal Welfare Standards International (PAWSI), the Production Guild, the Animal Consultants and Trainers Association; and representatives of the circus and zoo industries.

The group was disbanded after its second meeting, when it was felt that it would be more appropriate for consideration of how self-regulation might work to be taken forward by PAWSI, which was invited to run its own group with industry, welfare organisations and other interested parties. As this group is not a Defra working group it would not be appropriate for my Department to provide details of its membership, meetings and minutes.

We will assess the progress of the PAWSI group in spring next year and, based on this, will consider the options on how to take the regulation of performing animals forward.