The Greens NSW have two bills that will go a long way towards improving animal welfare for pigs and chickens in New South Wales. Much more needs to be done, but passing these bills would make a great start to improving animal welfare in NSW.
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Amendment (Restrictions on Pig Keeping) Bill 2014
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Amendment (Restrictions on Pig Keeping) Bill 2014 currently before parliament. The bill would require pig keepers to provide appropriate accommodation for pigs and would in effect ban sow stalls and farrowing crates. Consumers are increasingly demanding that the animal products they consume are of a higher ethical and animal welfare standard. Companies like Coles are already voluntarily phasing out the use of sow stalls but the Greens bill recognises the need to change the laws to ensure sow stalls and farrowing crates are phased out for good. Producer organisations such as Australian Pork Limited (APL) have a voluntary phase out of sow stalls by 2017 which is why this bill will only come into effect after the completion of that process on 1 January 2018.
Jurisdictions such as the ACT, Sweden and the UK have already fully banned sow stalls and NSW can join them at the forefront of animal welfare.
You can read the draft exposure bill here:
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Amendment (Restrictions on Fowl Keeping) Bill 2014
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Amendment (Restrictions on Fowl Keeping) Bill 2014 will amend the n Act to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 to prohibit the use of cages for laying fowl and the practice of trimming or removing the beaks of fowl. The use of battery cages in the egg farming industry is common, with approximately 70% (or 11-12 million hens) being confined in cages. This method of housing layer hens is inhumane, as it deprives the animals from even walking properly and stretching their wings in the sun. It is also an unnecessary practice, since many egg producers have no moved towards more free-range farming, although much work needs to be done to clarify that definition, something the Greens NSW have been at the forefront of.
Email the Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson MP here: