The Greens have announced a legislative push to end caged egg production in Canberra.
“The time has come for the old parties to catch up with community sentiment and support phasing out battery cage egg production,” Greens animal welfare spokesperson, Caroline Le Couteur said today.
“Factory farming eggs puts chickens in horrific conditions. They can hardly move, they can’t flap their wings, and they endure this for their whole, short life.
In 2009 the Greens were successful in a bid to require labelling of shelves in Canberra supermarkets to identify cage, barn and free-range eggs more clearly.
“I am pleased that Canberra retailers are reporting increases as high as 90 per cent in the sales of free-range eggs since new signage requirements started in mid 2009.
“Although the Greens have put similar legislation forward three times previously – the first time being in 1997, I believe that both community sentiment and market demand is has shifted and the time for change has come.
“We know that there is high demand for free-range eggs, and the Greens would like the ACT to be a significant supplier of them, rather than our major egg supplier being locked into caged egg production,” said Caroline Le Couteur MLA.
The main elements of the Animal Welfare Legislation (Factory Farming) Amendment Bill 2012 are:
· It makes it illegal to keep hens in a cage system in the ACT from 1 January 2014.
· It requires the responsible ACT Government Minister to advocate at the national level for better welfare conditions for poultry.
It will be interesting to see how Katy Gallagher and Zed Seselja explain their positions on the legislation.