Today with Senator Derryn Hinch I moved a motion in the Senate demanding the Turnbull government strengthen the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry, promote the implementation of CCTV in all Australian abattoirs as well as the appointment of animal welfare officers, and encourage state governments to prosecute and strongly sanction animal cruelty.
Labor supported this motion because the draft animal welfare standards released by the Turnbull government this week for public consultation will not meet the expectations of the Australian community.
In fact, they have been rightly described by the RSPCA as “embarrassing” and “not based on science or evidence”.
Labor was dismayed and disappointed by the recent ABC’s 7:30 report showing hens being mutilated and boiled alive in a Victorian slaughterhouse.
Australia’s existing standards are not strong enough to ensure the basic welfare of chickens, while the new draft standards proposed by the Turnbull government comprehensively fail to meet community expectations.
84 per cent of Australians support an end to battery cage factory farming, and there is also incontrovertible scientific evidence of the significant impacts this system has on the health and welfare of hens.
This evidence has led the governments of New Zealand, Canada, the UK, and the entire European Union to conclude that battery cages must be phased out.
Labor calls on the Turnbull government to listen to the community, pay attention to the science and strengthen its draft standards for animal welfare.
All Australian consumers have an interest in animal welfare, and are entitled to feel confident that meat and poultry on Australian supermarket shelves has not arrived there by way of torture and abuse.