Issue 49 - Chief Animal Welfare Officer Appointed



Dr Kim Filmer Appointed

In recognition of the increasing complexities and public scrutiny relating to animal welfare, the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has created a new role to oversee the Animal Welfare Unit. The Chief Animal Welfare Officer (CAWO) will operate alongside the Chief Veterinary Officer. Following a competitive recruitment process Dr Kim Filmer was recently appointed to the CAWO position.

The CAWO has been busy guiding the Animal Welfare Unit on a number of welfare reforms and promoting new initiatives focused on welfare during the drought.


Current initiatives within DPI or in partnerships with other organisations include:


NSW Animal Welfare Action Plan 

Which aims to deliver an animal welfare system that is outcomes-focussed and reflects evolving animal welfare science and community expectations.



A central information portal for advice and services available to assist those in drought-affected regions.


NSW Emergency Drought Relief Package - Stock Disposal Scheme

A scheme managed by Local Land Services (LLS) to prevent animal welfare issues by assisting livestock owners to euthanase and dispose of their drought affected stock.

Please contact your closest Local Land Services (LLS) veterinarian for further information:


Rural Resilience Program 

A program which links farming communities  and service providers across NSW to strengthen networks, exchange information and deliver relevant initiatives (including financial assistance) that build personal and business resilience skills and knowledge. Rural Resilience Officers and Rural Support Workers are located throughout the state.


The Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP)

RAMHP has 14 Coordinators based across NSW who provide specialist knowledge and support for people living in the rural communities who are experiencing mental health concerns. The program delivers, among other services, Suicide Prevention Workshops and self-help resources such as drought support information.