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NZ phases out battery hens, Australia remains cagey

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.

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Speech: Primate Imports Legislation

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (11:54): I move:

That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and for related purposes—Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Prohibition of Live Imports of Primates for Research) Bill 2012.

Question agreed to.

Senator RHIANNON: I present the bill and move:

That this bill may proceed without formalities and be now read a first time.

Question agreed to.

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Ban import of live primates for research

The illegal trade in primates is recognised as one of the biggest threats to biodiversity conservation. Most of these primates are born to wild-caught captive monkeys in Asian facilities set up as lucrative money making facilities, then sold as captive breeds.

The Greens' bill does not ban the use of primates for research or the importation of primates for other purposes, for example for zoos.


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Koalas and Maules Creek coal mine

Last week I found myself asking the question - Which is more precious: a koala colony or a new coal mine?

In NSW, the state government's Planning and Assessment Commission has given the go-ahead for the new Maules Creek Coal Mine.  In doing so it has approved the destruction of large tracts of valuable koala habitat in North West NSW for a massive open-cut coal mine proposal that would destroy 2,000 hectares, or around 2,800 football fields, of forest.

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Greens release live exports position paper: building domestic meat processing

The Australian Greens have today released a position paper identifying five key issues the government must address to provide a more economically robust and humane alternative to the live exports trade, in the lead up to the important last Government caucus meeting of the year where live exports has been identified as a key issue by some Labor MPs ("Greens up ante on ban of live animal exports", The Australian, today

The paper can be accessed below.

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