The Australian Greens today called on Minister for Agriculture Joe Ludwig to trigger an overdue review into the poultry ‘Code of Practice’ with a view to phasing out cruel battery cages for hens. Animals Australia today launched a series of radio ads to make battery cages history (“Campaign to ban eggs from battery farms”, Sydney Morning Herald today, page 6 today.)
“A review of the poultry code was meant to be done and dusted by the end of 2010 yet Senator Ludwig has not lifted a finger to review the standards for over 12 million chickens that see out miserable lives in battery cages”, said Senator Rhiannon.
“The last review of the poultry code was in 2000 and the only animal welfare concession to come out of this review was to increase cage sizes by the equivalent of two match boxes.
“Australia is falling woefully behind international standards. The EU phased out the last of its battery cages at the start of this year and Switzerland, Norway and seven US states have already banned battery cages.
“In the UK, cage eggs have been rejected by major food outlets such as Sainsburys, Marks & Spencer, Subway and Burger King.
“The Greens call on Senator Ludwig, who chairs the Primary Industries Ministerial Council, to immediately trigger a review of the poultry ‘Code of Practice’ and to commit to a phase out of battery cages.
“Battery cages are cruel. Many hens live their entire lives squeezed into battery cages deprived of natural light and fresh air and without room to spread their wings and scratch in the dirt.
“I congratulate Animals Australia for their tireless work to make battery cages history”, said Senator Rhiannon.