ACT bans battery cages and sow stalls

Parliament house flag post

ACT bans battery cages and sow stalls

Posted 26/02/2014 by Michele Brennan

On 25 February 2014 the Animal Welfare (Factory Farming) Amendment Bill 2013 was passed by the ACT Legislative Assembly. The Bill is noteworthy as it is the first time that certain intensive farming practices – specifically the use of battery cages in egg production and the use of sow stalls and gestational crates for pigs — will be banned in any Australian jurisdiction. (Although the Tasmanian Government had, in May 2012, announced its intention to phase out battery cages and ‘fast track’ a planned ban on sow stalls, no legislation has been introduced to implement the proposed changes.) The Bill, which will also ban beak trimming of chickens (sometimes referred to as ‘de-beaking’), was introduced by Shane Rattenbury, the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services and sole Greens member of the ACT Legislative Assembly.

Battery cages have been banned in a number of countries including Switzerland, Austria and Sweden.  They are being phased out in New Zealand and in a number of states in the USA, including California and Michigan. Conventional battery cages have been banned in the European Union since 1 January 2012 (although birds may still be housed in ‘enriched cages’). 

Sow stalls are already banned in the United Kingdom and Sweden, and will be banned in New Zealand from 2015. Other jurisdictions restrict the use of sow stalls  - for example, in the European Union sow stalls may only be used in the first four weeks of pregnancy and for a week before the piglets are expected to be born; and in some USA states, including California, Arizona and Florida, a pig may only be confined for a week before she is expected to give birth. 

Industry statistics indicate that there were 16.859 million laying hens in Australia as at 31 December 2012, of which approximately 11 million  were housed in battery cages. As at 30 June 2013, there were 218,000 breeding sows in Australia, in a total pig population of 2 million.

There is one battery cage facility in the ACT, which entered into an agreement in 2012 with the ACT Government to convert to a barn-laid facility by 15 May 2016. This agreement is recognised by the Bill, with the existing facility being exempted from the new housing requirements until 16 May 2016. There are no intensive piggeries in the ACT. 

The Bill does not ban the sale of eggs produced in caged systems or pork produced using sow stalls—only the use of those methods of production in the ACT. Interestingly, the ACT previously enacted legislation that would have prevented eggs produced in a battery system from being sold in the ACT. However, this legislation never commenced, due to national competition policy concerns  (specifically the refusal of other jurisdictions to agree to required amendments to the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 (Cth)).

Some retailers have already begun moving away from the production methods addressed in the ACT Bill—Coles removed cage eggs and sow stall produced pork from its own brand products in January 2013 and Woolworths has committed to phasing out the sale of all caged eggs by December 2018.


Thank you for your comment. If it does not require moderation, it will appear shortly.

Add your comment

[Click to expand]

We welcome your comments, or additional information which is relevant to a post. These can be added by clicking on the ‘Add your comment’ option above. Please note that the Parliamentary Library will moderate comments, and reserves the right not to publish comments that are inconsistent with the objectives of FlagPost. This includes spam, profanity and personal abuse, as well as comments that are factually incorrect or politically partisan. We will close comments after three months.




Captcha
Generate a new image
Type characters from the image:

Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Add | Email Print

FlagPost

Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament


Parliamentary Library Logo showing Information Analysis & Advice

Archive

Syndication

Tagcloud

Refugees asylum climate change immigration Australian foreign policy parliament social security welfare reform school education welfare policy health financing elections Australian Defence Force emissions trading women higher education private health insurance people trafficking Indigenous Australians illicit drugs gambling health reform federal election 2010 Employment Asia Medicare United Nations Australian Bureau of Statistics statistics sport health forced labour federal budget Afghanistan Industrial Relations Carbon Pricing Mechanism politics Middle East income management dental health United States aid disability child protection environment poker machines Australia in the Asian Century Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency steroids World Anti-Doping Agency National Disability Insurance Scheme detention aged care 43rd Parliament slavery health system Fair Work Act Australian Public Service governance labour force people smuggling transport debt taxation international relations constitution New Zealand food WADA Australian Crime Commission pharmaceutical benefits scheme public service reform law enforcement children's health Aviation foreign debt gross debt net debt defence capability parliamentary procedure Senate Senators and Members ALP ASADA Australian Federal Police criminal law Newstart Parenting Payment multiculturalism Youth Allowance sea farers accountability Papua New Guinea youth paid parental leave pensions same sex relationships corruption coal seam gas customs planning federal election 2013 Australian Electoral Commission doping OECD crime health risks International Women's Day Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling sex slavery Special Rapporteur Northern Territory Emergency Response social policy carbon tax mining High Court Higher Education Loan Program HECS military history electoral reform employer employee renewable energy regional unemployment fishing European Union Federal Court family assistance skilled migration banking United Nations Security Council Australian economy forestry food labelling vocational education and training Drugs UK Parliament welfare systems Indonesia social media children federal state relations Constitutional reform local government codes of conduct terrorist financing homelessness Parliamentary remuneration money laundering Trafficking in Persons Report energy science social inclusion human rights paternalism World Trade Organization Australia public health China housing affordability bulk billing political parties water productivity health policy Governor-General US economy trade unions domestic violence export liquefied natural gas foreign bribery firearms question time speaker superannuation public housing election results by-election expertise public policy climate Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change leadership terrorist groups voting Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry regulation Pacific Islands reserved seats research and development new psychoactive substances synthetic drugs UNODC ASIO Australian Security Intelligence Organisation intelligence community carbon markets animal health middle class welfare ADRV Census Indigenous constitutional recognition of local government referendum consumer laws PISA competition policy royal commission US politics violence against women language education baby bonus Leaders of the Opposition citizen engagement policymaking Australia Greens servitude Trafficking Protocol forced marriage Population rural and regional mental health alcohol entitlements ministries Hung Parliament social citizenship maritime Iran transparency ANZUS regional students school chaplains federal budget 2011-12 salary Medicare Locals primary care Building the Education Revolution smoking plain packaging tobacco cigarettes Asia; Japan; international relations Work Health and Safety Migration; asylum seekers; regional processing China; United States; international relations fiscal policy Racial Discrimination Act; social policy; human rights; indigenous Australians Foreign policy Southeast Asia Israel Palestine asylum refugees immigration political finance donations foreign aid disability employment Economics efficiency human rights; Racial Discrimination Act employment law bullying asylum seekers Animal law; food copyright Australian Law Reform Commission industry peace keeping contracts workplace policies same-sex marriage disorderly conduct integrity retirement Parliament House Australian Secret Intelligence Service welfare standing orders prime ministers election timetable sitting days First speech terrorism defence budget submarines workers financial sector Canada Somalia United Kingdom GDP Tasmania world heritage political engagement leave loading Trade; tariffs; safeguards; Anti-dumping public interest disclosure whistleblowing Productivity Commission limitation period universities Ireland cancer gene patents genetic testing suspension of standing and sessional orders live exports infant mortality honorary citizen railways disciplinary tribunals standard of proof World Health Organisation arts international students skilled graduate visas temporary employment visas apologies roads Italy national heritage NHMRC nutrition anti-dumping Rent Assistance obesity evidence law sacrament of confession sexual abuse US presidential election international days DFAT UN General Assembly deregulation Regulation Impact Statements administrative law small business Breaker Morant regional engagement social determinants of health abortion Members suspension workplace health and safety marine reserves hearing TAFE Victoria astronomy resources sector YMCA youth parliament Korea fuel rebate Australian Greens presidential nomination Racial Discrimination Act political parties preselection solar hot water Financial Action Taskforce Horn of Africa peacekeeping piracy Great Barrier Reef Stronger futures political financing political education Social Inclusion Board early childhood National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care Murray-Darling Basin sanctions Norway hospitals republic President Barack Obama Presidential visits qantas counselling Korean peninsula Work Choices biosecurity hendra environmental law federalism federation preselection therapeutic goods Therapeutic Goods Administration plebiscites computer games pests suicide nuclear COAG Ministerial Councils floods ADHD stimulant medication advertising electricity extradition standards conscience votes poverty preventative health rural health coastal erosion Parliamentary Budget Office NATO work-life balance

Show all
Show less