Improvement needed for Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry

The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry have been reiterated by the WA Government.

The standards, specifying the conditions for egg-laying chickens need to improve, and are not based on modern animal welfare science, as reflected in the Victorian Government’s Farmed Bird Welfare Review.

The need for an independent statutory body to oversee drafting and enforcement of animal welfare standards at a national level was highlighted, and will have recommendations by the Productivity Commission.

Alannah MacTeirnan, Agriculture and Food Minister, said while the government’s preference would be to support national standards and guidelines, they will not adopt subpar standards that do not reflect modern science and community attitudes.

“Community standards on conditions for egg-laying chickens are changing and industry standards must change with this,” she said.

The State will not adapt the final standards and guidelines if the WA Government’s confers are not adequately resolved, following the national public consultation process.

Amendments to the Animal Welfare Act 2002 have been introduced to State Parliament by the McGowan Government, and would see the endorsement of national standards and guidelines in WA.

Ms MacTeirnan will host a roundtable next month while the draft standards public consultation.

“We are bringing together industry and animal welfare representatives in mid-January to chart a course forward for WA,” she said.

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