Greens move on battery hens in Canberra

johnboy 24 April 2009 82

Mark today down as a red letter day, the Greens have put out a media release!

And it’s a good one too. Caroline Le Couteur has announced that if they get their way the battery farming of chickens in the ACT will come to an end, amongst other things.

    Canberra’s single cage egg farm is Parkwood, which is owned by Australia’s biggest egg producer, Pace Farms. Parkwood is over 25 years old, with fully depreciated infrastructure, and employs fourteen people. It ships its eggs to NSW for packaging and distribution. However, Pace Farms also produces free range and barn laid eggs in other parts of the country.

    Ms Le Couteur’s draft legislation would also require retailers to display cage eggs separately from other eggs, along with signs that describe the egg production method.

    “Providing this information at the point of sale is an important additional step, especially since the ACT can’t ban imported cage eggs, and because egg carton labels are often confusing or misleading”, Ms Le Couteur said. “In a recent survey, 85% of ACT residents said they thought battery cage systems were cruel.”

You can find the proposed legislation online.


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82 Responses to Greens move on battery hens in Canberra
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deezagood deezagood 10:29 am 26 Apr 09

Sigh – thread is making me depressed enough to go back to being vego (was a strict vego in my 20s, but lapsed when pregnant and never quite managed to go back – especially difficult with a rampant carnivore husband). I don’t eat pork products at all – but I do buy the family a free-range (apparently – not so sure any more … might have to follow Woody’s lead and drive to Orange this year) ham each Christmas from the Chisholm butcher. Pork is, by far, the cruelest meat.

Fisho Fisho 10:02 am 26 Apr 09

Banning things is about the only thing the Greens are good at. However in this case they actually have a logical and factual case rather than the usual emotobabble they generally employ.

On a complete thread skew, anyone have any links on where you can hire a plot of land (UK allotment style) in the ACT for growing your own veges and whatnot?

ant ant 10:39 am 25 Apr 09

I’m a bit annoyed. I got soem eggs from Coles, called Sunny Queen, these are barn eggs. anyway, I went to the website to see if there were any pictures, and they are like Pace! They have cage eggs, barn eggs, and free range eggs. Damn it. Back to teh drawing board. I don’t want to buy eggs from people who are still using cage methods for egg production.

As long as consumers are interested in this stuff, there’s some chance that things will change. as poeple learn about how their pig-food is produced, and then also how dairy cows are kept (and where veal comes from), maybe the incentive to change will increase.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 8:43 am 25 Apr 09

I buy free range eggs because I’d be lucky to get through a dozen eggs every few weeks, so the real cost difference is stuff all.

Of course, I have to work a second job as a gay male prostitute to feed my family.

And your number is?

69 dude.

Enny Enny 11:32 pm 24 Apr 09

I think it’s fantastic that people are really taking an interest in where their food is coming from, and the cruelties associated with them. Only using certain eggs is a great place to start, because it limits the level of suffering for the hens, but what about male chicks? Often they’re piled in to a bag to suffocate amongst each other, or ground up alive, because they are of ‘no use’. So even when you are buying ‘cruelty free’, your money is still going towards immense levels of suffering.

It’s along the same lines as the suggestion of the picture on the packaging of the conditions of the animal – imagine how this applies to milk, cheese, mince…

jake555 jake555 10:51 pm 24 Apr 09

If you want to get mad about how pigs are farmed, listen to these radio ads…

http://www.animalsaustralia.org/lucy_speaks/

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 9:44 pm 24 Apr 09

Pigs are already in a legal quagmire. Google for the ‘bred free range’ controversy, and gawp at the ACCC’s ruling that consumers don’t know the difference between that and ‘free range’ and don’t care.

This year I’ll be driving to Orange to get my Christmas ham. That’s how much I don’t care, you ACCC arse clowns.

ant ant 9:32 pm 24 Apr 09

The business with pigs is awful, and while animals are living in constant misery so the operators (they’re not farmers) can make more bucks we can’t be comfortable as a civilised society.

Granny Granny 9:24 pm 24 Apr 09

Concerning ham, bacon and pork products, change begins with posts such as the above which raise awareness in the community; progresses when people reach such a level of disgust that they start asking their supermarket managers about the lack of free-range ham; and then final change ensues either when the purchasing base is strong enough to mandate economic change or such changes can be legislated.

I didn’t even know about battery pigs, although I do now dimly recall some discussion of this in an earlier thread.

Now you have brought the issue to my attention I will treat this the same as I do with the eggs.

jake555 jake555 9:22 pm 24 Apr 09

Let’s hope pigs will be next. The issue with pigs – ‘sow stalls’ – is just as important as battery hens, they live in horrific conditions, and no offence to chickens, but pigs apparently have the intelligence of a three year old child which in a way makes it all the more unbearable.

Baby steps. Let’s see if people will spend a few extra bucks on eggs first…

There is a company called Otway Pork (RSPCA endorsed) who humanely ‘farm’ pigs. I am not sure exactly where to buy the products, but I think the butcher at Griffith shops would be a good start, apparently all of their meat is humanely produced.

sepi sepi 9:04 pm 24 Apr 09

People are starting to worry about pig keeping conditions also. I know a couple of people who won’t eat ham due to the cruelty aspect.

And there are humane ways of keeping chickens. A friend worked on a chicken farm outside of Canberra, and it was lovely, and the chickens were healthy and happy, and outdoors. I wish I could remember the name of it.

I understand the RSPCA supports barn eggs, as chickens are quite happy in this type of environment – many back yard chickens live in a chicken coop.

IGA has heaps of varieties of freerange eggs. I don’t buy Pace, cos I don’t ant to support a business that earns income from battery hens.

Deckard Deckard 8:43 pm 24 Apr 09

Granny said :

Everybody has to make their own choices, but I count a few dollars to be a small cost to stimulate demand for torture-free products.

In most cases it’s not even a few dollars. There’s usually one brand of free range eggs on special.

But it’s not just chickens. Pigs are also kept in batteries – but you don’t see much free range ham or bacon around. You can find it in the pre-packaged stuff but I’ve never seen it at the Woolies deli.

I think it’s just that eggs have all the attention at the moment. Maybe pigs will be next.

gomer gomer 8:40 pm 24 Apr 09

I have been to battery and free range farms and don’t really see the advantage of one over the other. Battery chickens are caged tightly which for a human would be very bad. Barn hens have serious pecking order problems to the point of cannibalism. Chickens are the same as other birds and need heaps of territory. My neighbours chicken used to jump the fence to attack and hopefully drive away our chicken (and we both had 1000sqm blocks with a solid fence). There is no way we can give chickens suitable territory and make it economical.
At the end of the day I recommend getting your own hen as the most cruelty free solution. They take about the same amount of maintenance as fish and produce better eggs than the shops.

jake555 jake555 7:13 pm 24 Apr 09

Granny said :

You know, I believe that consumers of child pornography are just as responsible for the suffering of the child as the perpetrators because they provide the demand for the product.

I can’t see how this is any different. Both involve the suffering of the weak and defenceless at the hands of human greed.

Everybody has to make their own choices, but I count a few dollars to be a small cost to stimulate demand for torture-free products.

Well said Granny.

jake555 jake555 7:13 pm 24 Apr 09

Hells_Bells74 said :

They had a lot more than 14 people working there back then. Wonder what happened?

I think they bring in extras when it is time to ‘depopulate’ as they call it

monomania said :

Why are there two standards that relate to the treatment of animals. Maybe even more? If a pet was treated like many farm animals those responsible would be charged with the offense of animal cruelty.

Have a look at the first video on the RSPCA website http://www.rspca-act.org.au/pages/page217.asp – Illustrates what you are saying monomania!

Granny Granny 5:43 pm 24 Apr 09

You know, I believe that consumers of child pornography are just as responsible for the suffering of the child as the perpetrators because they provide the demand for the product.

I can’t see how this is any different. Both involve the suffering of the weak and defenceless at the hands of human greed.

Everybody has to make their own choices, but I count a few dollars to be a small cost to stimulate demand for torture-free products.

monomania monomania 5:33 pm 24 Apr 09

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

I buy free range eggs because I’d be lucky to get through a dozen eggs every few weeks, so the real cost difference is stuff all.

Of course, I have to work a second job as a gay male prostitute to feed my family.

And your number is?

Hells_Bells74 Hells_Bells74 5:21 pm 24 Apr 09

They had a lot more than 14 people working there back then. Wonder what happened?

Hells_Bells74 Hells_Bells74 5:15 pm 24 Apr 09

I feel bad too, since I consider myself an animal lover and crusader in my own small way from way back and always fought for free-range eggs (my friends owned the Flower Spot (which sold free-range at the Belco Markets) or barn laid when they came out and told others of the horrors of caged hens. But something happened, think I became resentful at the price difference and every little cent counting, found myself buying the damned things, probably 6 years now, oh no that coincides with my ex-boyfriend working there at Pace Farms for the 2 years he came to live here from Melbourne. He used to bring home plenty of eggs. The dumb thing I now had first-hand knowledge of the place. Enough to keep me the Hell away and now I’m eating their eggs more than ever?

Let’s just say.. My ex thankfully worked with the eggs that had been laid and stayed mostly away from the chickens. But one fateful weekend he agreed to help them clear out the old hens (lucky to be 2) ready for the new lot to come in. Oh the horror. They no longer care about the hens welfare, like they ever did 🙁 and they hurt them real bad. My ex was a hardened man, but whilst he was trying to just keep up and help not hinder his workmates he was heartbroken for the poor chooks he realised there was nothing he could do for them, just treat them as good as he could and watch the people who regulary worked with them, bash, maim, kill, squash, crush and jam them in 6 at a time (was meant to be a live haul mind you). He never volunteered again.

See.. You think I would be so dead against eating them. I’m asking myself for some justification, there’s none there.

monomania monomania 5:08 pm 24 Apr 09

Why are there two standards that relate to the treatment of animals. Maybe even more? If a pet was treated like many farm animals those responsible would be charged with the offense of animal cruelty.

How many times do you see photos of flocks of bedraggled starving sheep with a story about drought and how tough the times are for the farmer. What about some free range pigs and a ban on feed lots? No there is a different standard for agricultural animals. I dare say life for a free range hen is better than battery but it isn’t as good as appears on a packet of Popes Free-Range.

And what about feral animals and pests. The animal ethics people don’t seem to have much time for them. They can be baited and trapped. Who knows how much suffering occurs with a trapped rabbit before it dies. Or a mouse or a rat that has been baited.

And what about ants? I think that onion might have cried when I cut it yesterday. Or was that me.

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