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New Egg Laws Do Little For Hen Welfare

Andrea Dawkins

Andrea Dawkins  -  Thursday, 31 March 2016

Tags: Animal Welfare, Free Range Eggs, Government Procurement

Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens Animal Welfare spokesperson

It's all well and good for the Liberals to claim new egg labelling laws are a win for producers and consumers, but they don't do much for the welfare of hens.

The new laws allow businesses holding 10,000 hens per hectare to be labelled as 'free range' producers. The labelling laws have been on the COAG agenda for some time, with animal welfare organisations recommending the stocking density be a much lower 1,500 hens per hectare.

It's a great shame that Ministers Brooks and Rockliff were so ready to put animal welfare concerns to the side, all in the name of business and industry.

Market demand for cruelty-free produce is becoming stronger and stronger.  People want to know what they are buying and it's up to governments to legislate for proper animal welfare standards.

Choice have called for a boycott of 19 egg brands because they don't believe that the 'free range' label accurately reflects conditions. 

When respected consumer affairs and animal welfare bodies are ignored in the interests of industry, you can be certain decisions aren't being made with the wellbeing of animals in mind.

This weak and disappointing stance comes after the Liberals rolled back the previous government's procurement order that saw only free-range eggs being used in schools, hospitals and government departments.

The Liberals have once again missed the opportunity to show real courage and leadership, and do the right thing by our animals.