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Animal Welfare

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Time to stop Joyce plan to smash free range egg definition

Commenting on this week's meeting of consumer affairs ministers that will decide on a definition of free range egg production, Greens animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has called for the decision to be consistent with consumer expectations of animal welfare.

"Today's report that systems with more than six times the number of hens per hectare than what is judged to be a fair assessment of free range could also use that label should not be agreed to.

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Daily greyhound racing death toll comes to NSW parliament

The Greens joined community members and their dogs outside NSW Parliament today with a display of 47 empty collars in an effort to urge the state Liberal-National government to support a ban on greyhound racing in this state. Photos are attached and high-res photos available upon request. 

According to evidence presented to the Special Commission of Inquiry, up to 47 greyhounds are killed each day across Australia because they are no longer wanted by the racing industry.

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Keogh appointment may scramble free-range standards

Commenting on the appointment of Mick Keogh as the new Agriculture Commissioner for the ACCC, Greens Senator and spokesperson for animal welfare Lee Rhiannon said: 

“For 13 years, Mick Keogh has been at the helm of an organisation whose key objective is to increase profits in the agricultural sector. 

“The prioritisation of profits over consumer rights and animal welfare is what led to the misuse of the free-range label in the first instance. 

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Greyhound export ban ignored as dogs suffer overseas

The Greens are calling on the federal government to enforce an industry ban on greyhound exports to countries with poor animal welfare protections. This call comes after the ABC ran Animals Australia investigation on the 7.30 report tonight which exposed routine, brutal mistreatment and killing of Australian dogs in China, Macau and Vietnam.

Key findings of the investigation:

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Motion: Say No to Puppy Farms

Lee successfully moves a motion to discourage customers from buying puppies bred in puppy farms under inhumane conditions, and calls on all state and territory governments to adopt a consistent National Register of organisations that are approved breeders, and issue permits to such organisations.

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (15:50): I move:

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Animal cruelty whistleblower prosecutions are shooting the messenger

The charging last week of two animal rights activists for break-ins at pig farms across NSW in 2013 is another example of the misguided punishments meted out against those seeking to expose systemic animal abuse, says Greens spokesperson for Animal Welfare Senator Lee Rhiannon.

"Once again those seeking to expose animal cruelty have been punished while the industries and individuals guilty of malicious animal cruelty get off scot free," Senator Rhiannon said.

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Estimates: Community Affairs Legislation Committee (Animal Experiments)

Lee questions representatives of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) on animal testing, and why a national database isn't in place to prevent unnecessary duplication of animal experiments. While the NHMRC provides "ethical guidance", it does not monitor duplication of animal testing. However, it is pointed out that unnecessary duplication of these experiments may be picked up in the peer-review process.

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Estimates: Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee (Live Exports)

Lee questions Meat and Livestock Australia Limited (MLA) about their knowledge of ESCAS breaches, after there being 6 complaints in 3 years. Mr Norton is the Managing Director of MLA. Wellard Rural Exports has gone on record saying that competitors' non-compliance with ESCAS standards has led to a higher profit margin, which disincentivises compliance with standards in place to stop animal cruelty. 

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