Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig is under pressure to ensure 12 million plus battery hens in Australia do not continue to live a cruel existence, following New Zealand's decision to ban new cage installation from today and phase out the industry by 2022, says Australian Greens animal welfare spokesperson Lee Rhiannon.
"The responsibility to modernise factory farming to reduce animal cruelty is not on Minister Ludwig's radar and New Zealand's announcement shines a light on his sluggish performance," Senator Rhiannon said.
"Condemning hens to live in an area the size of an A4 piece of paper, with no natural light or ventilation is inconsistent with the expectations Australians hold of how animals should be treated.
"In moving to ban battery cages New Zealand joins Tasmania, the ACT, the EU, Switzerland, Norway and at least seven states in the US.
"Minister Ludwig should immediately kick-start a long overdue review into the federal poultry 'Code of Practice' with the aim of banning battery cages across the nation," Senator Rhiannon said.