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Draft poultry standards put fox in charge of the hen house

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 27 Nov 2017

Greens animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has condemned the draft national Standards and Guidelines for the Welfare of Poultry released today for public consultation.

“It is inexcusable that the draft guidelines and standards have simply continued the cruel conditions that over 700 million chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese and other poultry are currently subjected to,” Senator Rhiannon said.

“For example, there is no effort to end the use of battery cages and limit stocking densities for chickens. The pain caused by trimming sensitive beaks is ignored, and the standards for housing and slaughter are completely inadequate.

“Scientific evidence of the horrific health and welfare outcomes suffered by caged egg laying hens has seen the EU, Britain, New Zealand and Canada phase out conventional battery cages.

“Recent research commissioned by the RSPCA shows that 84% of Australians want an end to battery cages. Currently more than 11 million egg-laying hens live in cages for nearly their whole lives.

“These draft standards ignore the science that confirms the cruelty of existing poultry enterprises.

“The poultry industries have funded and controlled the development of these draft Standards and Guideline from the outset. They show contempt for the majority of Australians who want ethical treatment of animals.

“It’s been like putting the fox in charge of the hen house.

“The poultry industries profit from systemic cruelty.  Only last week the ABC’s 7.30 revealed chickens being boiled alive at a Victorian abattoir. These standards must insist on meaningful welfare outcomes instead of setting cruelty in concrete,” said Senator Rhiannon.

The Greens are urging people to submit to the public consultation process by 26 February 2018.

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