Commenting on Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce’s claims linking avian influenza outbreaks with an increase in free-range egg production, Greens animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said Mr Joyce’s actions worked against the interests of the industry as well as belittling animal welfare standards.
“The claims of the Agriculture Minister are ludicrous and just show what lengths he will go to back the interests of agribusiness,” Senator Rhiannon said.
“Linking free range egg production to avian influenza is irresponsible. The Minister offered no proof for this dangerous assertion.
“Stock disease is more often associated with over-crowding living conditions.
“Minister Joyce needs to recognise that there is a shift in industry standards that will bring benefits for farmers.
“Consumers are increasingly looking for ethically grown animal produce.
“When Minister Joyce kicked off his scare campaign he should have at least publicly explained that the avian influenza he was describing is not the highly contagious strain that has caused so much stock devastation in other counties,” Senator Rhiannon.