Latest news and releases from the Wild Animal Welfare Committee.

The WAWC has today (9 October 2019) published a review of the animal welfare implications of the taking and killing of wild birds under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The context for the review is the ongoing consideration of General Licences (GLs), which permit the widespread taking and killing of certain species of bird for a variety of purposes including the conservation of wild birds and the protection of crops and livestock.

The WAWC’s second conference on Wednesday 27 March 2019 set out to answer some big questions about wild animal welfare. Increasingly, wild animals are subjected to control, management, conservation and other similar activities, and some species experience significant indirect, but still harmful, anthropogenic effects. The conference asked who – if anyone – is safeguarding the welfare of individual wild animals at these times.

The WAWC has today (13 May 2019) submitted its response to the call for evidence on the General Licences for England.  The short consultation by DEFRA followed the withdrawal in April of three licences in light of a challenge to their legality.


Booking is now open for the WAWC conference 2019!

Date: Wednesday 27 March 2019 
Time: 10:30 – 17:00 
Place: City Chambers 
High Street 

Booking is now open for this year’s conference in Edinburgh on Wednesday 27 March, on the theme Who are the guardians of wild animal welfare?

The WAWC Activity Review 2016 -2018 is now available online and in hard copy.  Our colourful new report descibes the Committee's aims, aspirations and achievements over the past two years, including extracts from the ongoing project to assess the extent of research into wild animal welfare threats in the UK.  The publication features photographs by WAWC member Alick Simmons.

If you would like a copy of the report, please contact the Secretary, Libby Anderson, on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

The WAWC conference Who are the guardians of wild animal welfare?  has had to be re-scheduled due to two of our speakers becoming unavoidably unavailable.  The event, originally planned for Monday 19 November, will now take place in March 2019.


Following our successful inaugural conference in 2016, the Wild Animal Welfare Committee is delighted to announce this full-day event taking place in Edinburgh on 19 November 2018.

The WAWC has called for a thorough review of trapping regulations in the UK in its response to the DEFRA consultation on implementation of the Agreement on Humane trapping standards (AIHTS).

The Wild Animal Welfare Committee (WAWC), a charity providing independent advice and evidence about the welfare of free-living wild animals in the UK, has criticised government proposals for extending the English badger cull.

The Wild Animal Welfare Committee (WAWC) is delighted to announce that Kathryn Arnold, Sandra Baker and Alick Simmons have joined the pioneering independent wild animal welfare group.

The WAWC conference on 8 November 2016 provided an important opportunity for the Committee to set out its aims, explore the current state of knowledge about wild animal welfare, and seek views from the many knowledgeable stakeholders who attended.

Conference to focus on challenges and opportunities in wild animal welfare. 

From hunting with dogs to the grouse shooting debate, from rodenticides to the badger cull, from ocean noise to climate change: many of today’s countryside and conservation debates are of key relevance to animal welfare, yet this aspect can often be overlooked. The Wild Animal Welfare Committee conference in Edinburgh on 8 November offers an opportunity for everyone with an interest in wildlife welfare to discuss and identify priorities for policy development and government action.

Wild Animal Welfare Committee Conference flyer with conference agenda. 

The WAWC welcomes posters for presentation at the conference relating to the subject of wild animal welfare. 

WAWC announces its inaugural conference! Tuesday 8th November 2016, from 10:00 - 17:00

City Chambers, 253 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1YJ


There is currently debate as to the number of dogs permitted to be used to flush foxes from cover to guns, particularly as there is a difference in the provision of national legislation within the UK.  The Wild Animal Welfare Committee (WAWC) is not intending to comment at this time on the necessity or effectiveness of fox control using dogs, but aims to address how the number of dogs used might affect the welfare of the fox.

The Wild Animal Welfare Committee (WAWC) has issued a call for evidence about the welfare of hunted foxes.

In July, the WAWC announced that it would produce a Statement in response to public interest in possible changes to legislation governing the hunting of wild mammals with dogs in England, Wales and Scotland.

The Wild Animal Welfare Committee (WAWC) is delighted to announce that it has been awarded charitable status by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).

The Wild Animal Welfare Committee (WAWC) will produce an independent evidence-based Statement on the impact on animal welfare of hunting wild mammals with dogs, to inform the ongoing debate on the issue.

A new Committee dedicated to the promotion of wild animal welfare launches publicly today.

The Wild Animal Welfare Committee (WAWC) has been set up to provide independent advice and evidence about the welfare of free-living wild animals in the UK, aiming to reduce harm to animals and prevent the suffering that can be caused by human activity.