FRCAW's main mission is to provide scientific and technical support to ministries, industries, associations and any other party involved in the keeping of animals on matters related to animal protection and the welfare of animals dependent on humans.
To this end, the FRCAW carries out three different activities:
- It continues to add to its database of validated reference documents (scientific or technical articles, preferably synthesis articles, good practice guides, guidelines, etc.) catalogued on this site.
- It compiles thematic or summary files on important or topical scientific subjects for the information of the users of this site.
- It responds to requests for scientific and technical expertise in its field of competence.
Definition of terms
Support for those organisations who have signed the FRCAW's constitutional agreement
Assistance in setting up projects and in formulating responses to requests relating to animal welfare.
Support for the relevant French and/or international authorities
The set of occasional defined actions carried out by the FRCAW to meet the relevant authorities' needs for scientific and technical support. Provision of support may be confidential if expressly requested by the applicant. This support mainly involves the checking of official draft documents by a committee of experts.
Overview authored by the FRCAW following investigation of the current state of knowledge and the conduct of a literature review, containing the scientific opinion of the experts who have been called upon to carry out the work.
Only the competent authorities may call on the FRCAW for assistance with confidential documents. These documents may be regulatory documents, research projects, assessment documents for diploma courses, etc.
A person who is expert in a specific scientific and/or technical field. Experts are usually members of the FRCAW's participating institutions.
The body of work carried out by experts on behalf of the FRCAW to answer a question relating to the welfare of animals under human management, with the exception of risk management and assessment. All scientific disciplines that could have a direct or indirect impact on animal welfare are included in the FRCAW's field of expertise. An expertise will lead to the production of scientific opinions that are ultimately made available to the public.
Two types of expertise meet this definition:
1. External: the request is made by an organisation that is not a member of the FRCAW.
2. Internal: the request is made from within the FRCAW following identification of topics of significant interest.
"Has regard to the interests or activities, past or present, of a proprietory, professional or family nature, of the expert in relation to the object of the expertise entrusted to him or her" (Decree n° 2013-413 of 21 May 2013 approving the health expertise charter provided for in Article L. 1452-2 of the French Public Health Code).
Experts called upon by the FRCAW
To achieve this objective, the FRCAW draws on its own network of identified experts which includes all the skills necessary to the understanding of the welfare of animals under human management in all its aspects: ethology and biology, zootechnics and breeding, philosophy and ethics, economics and sociology, etc.
Two classes of experts:
- The experts are drawn from the member institutions of the FRCAW (signatories to the agreement) and also from those partner institutions who sit on the Advisory Committee.
- Experts from outside organisations are also called upon for their expertise in related fields.
The FRCAW is careful to ensure, as far as is possible, a diversity of experts so that all relevant disciplines and interests may be taken into account.
Procedure for the provision of an expertise
The procedure set out below is designed to optimise the independence and impartiality of the Centre's outputs. It is approved by the sponsor of the request and the FRCAW Steering Committee at the beginning of each undertaking.
1. Selection of experts
The choice of experts called on by the FRCAW Steering Committee is made according to the following criteria and in the sequence set out:
- Avoidance of conflicts of interest or their declaration
- Diversity of views / affiliations
2. Bibliographical methodology
All documents produced by the FRCAW in carrying out an expertise are founded on a sound bibliographical approach that ensures both scientific rigour and, as far as is possible, a comprehensive overview of current directions in science.
3. Diversity of views
Given the diversity of factors involved in animal welfare and the plurality of interests in this field, the expert report will aim, in setting out the different sides of the debate, to build a consensus on the topics addressed, namely to "seek a decision that takes into account the possibly contradictory positions, of each member of the group." (in French: https://www.plateforme-esa.fr/).
In the case of disagreement among members of the FRCAW Steering Committee, the different points of view will be reported without attribution to individual members.
4. Validation procedure for outputs
Scientific opinions are validated and endorsed by the FRCAW Steering Committee.
Delivery of reports
Each document delivered is submitted in the name of the FRCAW.
All opinions delivered by the FRCAW (subject to non-confidentiality) are published on its website. The FRCAW retains the right to update as necessary all the documents it produces in order to keep up with advances in knowledge. The opinions may also be published in scientific or professional journals or in any other form of communication, subject to the agreement of the Steering Committee of the FRCAW.
Transparency and scrutiny
The FRCAW ensures that all requests and work carried out are monitored and archived.