Supported by

World Organisation for Animal Health

Introduction

The Regional Animal Welfare Strategy (RAWS) for Asia and the Pacific was developed to provide WOAH Members, non-WOAH members and partners in the region with a direction for future improvements on the welfare of animals. It was endorsed through the WOAH Regional Commission for Asia and the Pacific in 2008. RAWS recognises activities undertaken by governments, industries and organisations to improve animal welfare and develop sustainable production systems in the region.

Aim

The aim of RAWS is to provide an overarching, agreed framework and guidance for WOAH Members, non-WOAH members and partners in the region when implementing WOAH Standards, and to serve as the basis for the development of Action Plans.

Vision

Our vision is a region where the welfare of animals is respected, promoted and incrementally advanced, simultaneously with the pursuit of progress and socioeconomic development. This vision presents both significant challenges and opportunities. These are reflected in the priority goals and their supporting objectives and specific activities.

History

Development and implementation of the RAWS has been supported by the Australian Government through the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy. The aim of the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy is to assist in the creation of a more consistent and effective animal welfare system. One of the goals of the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy is to ensure that Australia is actively engaged in international partnerships and developments to improve animal welfare. Australia has provided leadership and some funding to support the development of the regional animal welfare strategy in collaboration with WOAH.

The Director General of the WOAH (formerly known as OIE) agreed to establish a RAWS Coordination Group (RAWS CG) and nominated then-OIE regional representatives, industry, and an animal welfare international non-government organisation as its members. Dr Gardner Murray was appointed as chair and the first meeting of the RAWS CG was held in Bangkok, Thailand on 28 – 29 April 2010.

Since its first meeting in April 2010, the RAWS CG has progressed a number of recommendations through then-OIE Headquarters in Paris for endorsement through the Regional Commission. Highlights of the coordination group’s activities include:

  1. establishment of a secretariat within the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) to support the activities of RAWS AG
  2. translation of RAWS into four languages with copies provided to the relevant countries for further distribution
  3. ensuring RAWS visibility on websites including the regional WOAH animal welfare site and the animal welfare site of Australia’s DAFF
  4. establishing RAWS newsletters circulated on a quarterly basis, including short information contributions from countries, NGOs and industry. RAWS-News is available on this page, further below (RAWS Newsletters sub-menu)
  5. development of an Action Plan to define and track activities under the RAWS. The Action Plan notes the key role of WOAH Delegates in progressing the RAWS Action Plan, including reporting on developments for inclusion in the RAWS newsletter
  6. providing support and impetus for the delivery of an initial practical animal welfare training course in the region (the first course was held in Malaysia in 2011)
  7. supporting the establishment of national animal welfare committees in the region
  8. supporting (through the Terrestrial Animal Health Code Commission and the Animal Welfare Working Group) a review of the current WOAH standards for the commercial slaughter of poultry for human consumption by addressing feedback from Thailand arising from an EU fact-finding mission
  9. actively working with WOAH National Focal Points for Animal Welfare to promote RAWS initiatives
  10. networking with WOAH Collaborating Centres and supporting initiatives relating to the twinning of regional universities and research centres
  11. development of a RAWS communication strategy endorsed through the Regional Commission, and
  12. the publication and distribution of RAWS (Edition 1 and Edition 2), and its translation.

Introduction

RAWS Coordination Group was replaced by the RAWS Advisory Group (AG). The advisory group has since carried on and implemented activities proposed based on activities proposed in action plans. The AG works towards a region where the welfare of animals is respected, promoted and incrementally advanced, simultaneously with the pursuit of progress and socioeconomic development.

Purpose

RAWS AG supports the implementation of the WOAH Regional Animal Welfare Strategy for Asia and the Pacific and ensures it remains up-to-date. The group’s Terms of Reference (2022 May) are available here.

Activities in the Region

Newsletters (2023-24)

Administration

The Secretariat is provided by the WOAH Regional Representation for Asia and the Pacific (RRAP) based in Tokyo, Japan. She/he works closely with the Chair in organising and reporting on meetings and in carrying out a range of RAWS functions including monitoring progress against RAWS, coordination of activities and sharing information, preparation of newsletters, updating the RAWS website. The RAWS AG meets virtually, usually twice a year, and communicates through e-mail and teleconference as necessary.  Any face-to-face meeting will be subject to funding availability, self-funded or otherwise, or held in conjunction with other opportunities (i.e., WOAH National Focal Points for Animal Welfare in-person training, Regional Commission conferences).

RAWS AG members

RAWS AG members list was endorsed at the Regional Commission meeting on 14 May 2024; below is the list presented by the Chair to the President of the Regional Commission during the meeting.

Members
1 Linda Wilkin-Krug New Zealand WOAH Focal Point for Animal Welfare
2 Carolyn Guy New Zealand WOAH Collaborating Centre (sub-Focal Point)
3 Emily Orchard-Mills Australia WOAH Focal Point for Animal Welfare
4 Marzuna Md Yunus Malaysia WOAH Focal Point for Animal Welfare
5 Audrey Chen Singapore WOAH Focal Point for Animal Welfare
6 Marie Shella Ordinario Philippines WOAH Focal Point for Animal Welfare
7 Hikaru Nakano Japan WOAH Focal Point for Animal Welfare
8 Md. Sohel Rana Bangladesh WOAH Focal Point for Animal Welfare
9 Atieh Dabaghian Iran WOAH Focal Point for Animal Welfare
10 Teng Xiangyan China, PRC WOAH Focal Point for Animal Welfare
11 Abhijit Mitra India Commissioner & CVO
12 Muhammad Akram Pakistan Delegate
13 K.A.C.H.A. Kothalawala Sri Lanka Delegate
14 Jacqueline Lusat WOAH RRAP, Japan
15 Hirofumi Kugita WOAH RRAP, Japan
16 Ashish Sutar WOAH SRR SEA, Thailand
17 Leopoldo Stuardo WOAH Headquarters, Paris France
18 Sripad Sosale Fiji Pacific Community (SPC)
19 S Abdul Rahman India Commonwealth Veterinary Associations
20 Jackson Zee United Kingdom International Coalition for Animal Welfare
21 Yi-Chun Lin Chinese Taipei Asian Association of Veterinary Schools
Observers
1 Adhiraj Mishra India Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD)
2 Praveen Malik India Former Commissioner (DAHD)
3 Suresh S Honnappagol India Former Commissioner (DAHD)
4 O P Chaudhary India WOAH Focal Point for Animal Welfare
5 Sujit Kumar Dutta India Animal Welfare Board of India
6 Jeff Zhou China (PRC) International Coalition for Animal Welfare
7 Kasumi Sudo Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
8 Emmerson Oreb Australia Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
9 Abdur Rashid Bangladesh Former WOAH Focal Point for Animal Welfare
10 Pradeep L Kumawat Sri Lanka WOAH Focal Point for Animal Welfare
11 Peter Thornber Australia Former Commonwealth Veterinary Associations
12 Kate Littin New Zealand Former RAWS Advisory Group Chair
13 Suphanan Boonyakarn Thailand Department of Livestock Development