A government report released today into the brutal killing of 20,000 Australian sheep in Pakistan last year which has failed to hold anyone accountable, is another damning example of how the government continues to fail animals in the live export trade.
Commenting on the Rudd government’s plan to increase live cattle exports to Indonesia, Greens animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said Labor is out of touch with the majority of Australians who support an end to the export trade in live animals. “Labor might think they have placated some angry pastoralists with their decision to boost live cattle exports but they are out of step with the majority of Australians who want to see an end to this cruel trade,” Senator Rhiannon said.
The Australian Greens have called on the Minister for Agriculture to fast-track the long overdue review of the Poultry National Model Code of Practice, following a Federal Court decision that Steggles producer Baiada was guilty of misleading claims that its chickens were 'free to roam' despite cramped living conditions.
"Successive Agriculture Ministers have dragged their feet for seven years on the review of the Poultry Model Code of Practice", said Greens animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon.
Labor has backed away from its policy of an Office of Animal Welfare by refusing to back a Private Members Bill moved by Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt MP. The bill would implement an ALP National Conference resolution to establish an office made over two and a half years ago.
Speaking in the House of Representatives this morning, Labor members said they would not back the bill despite Labor policy supporting an office and a backbench push in caucus on the issue.
Free range farmer representatives, the animal protection organisation Humane Society International and 40,000 consumers today joined with the Australian Greens in calling for national action on egg labelling to protect consumers and free range farmers and help drive improvements in the treatment of laying hens.
Humane Society International was at Parliament House today to present 40,000 postcards to the Prime Minister, sent by consumers demanding action on free range egg standards and labelling.
Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (12:37): I move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) the voluntary national Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Domestic Poultry designates a maximum outdoor stocking density of 1 500 free range layer hens per hectare yet this is not enforceable and relies on self regulation,
Lee Rhiannon is the Australian Greens spokesperson on animal welfare, and the Greens are the only major party to have such a specific portfolio responsibility.
Before being elected to federal parliament Lee was a Greens MP in NSW Parliament for over a decade where she also held the animal welfare portfolio. Lee continues to campaign on animal welfare issues, ranging from banning live exports to protection of native species; more humane laws governing factory farming and protection of animal cruelty whistleblowers; protection of animal wellbeing in sports and entertainment; and empowering consumers to eat more ethically by ensuring proper anti-cruelty labelling. Lee is excited about the surge of interest from the community in animal welfare issues and believes that by working with the community we can help drive shifts in government policy to achieve better animal rights and welfare. She is a member of the Vegan Society NSW.
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