Senate debates

Wednesday, 29 November 2017


Animal Welfare

3:55 pm

Photo of Derryn HinchDerryn Hinch (Victoria, Derryn Hinch's Justice Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I, and also on behalf of Senators Singh and Rhiannon, move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) 7.30 recently aired footage of hens having their feet torn off and being boiled alive at the Star Poultry Supply slaughterhouse in the suburb of Keysborough, Victoria, in early 2017,

(ii) this footage was secretly recorded by animal rights campaigners, and showed practices which regulator PrimeSafe had failed to identify in regular audits, and

(iii) a number of cases of cruelty to animals in Australian abattoirs have been identified in Australia through covert recording;

(b) acknowledges that:

(i) this year, both the United Kingdom and France have adopted policies to implement CCTV in all abattoirs to deter animal cruelty in abattoirs and support regulators to audit effectively,

(ii) New South Wales (NSW) has mandated the appointment of animal welfare officers in all abattoirs to lift the standard of care for animals, and

(iii) all Australian consumers have an interest in animal welfare, and are entitled to feel confident that meat and poultry on Australian supermarket shelves has not arrived there by way of torture and abuse; and

(c) calls on the Government to:

(i) urgently advocate for CCTV use in all abattoirs at the next Agricultural Ministers' meeting and at the Council of Australian Governments,

(ii) urgently advocate for the national adoption of NSW's policy of appointing animal welfare officers in all Australian abattoirs,

(iii) strengthen the proposed draft Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry to safeguard poultry welfare at abattoirs and on-farm, and

(iv) strongly encourage state governments to respond to evidence of animal cruelty with strong sanctions and prosecution.

Photo of James McGrathJames McGrath (Queensland, Liberal National Party, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I seek leave to make a short statement.

Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President, Special Minister of State) Share this | | Hansard source

Leave is granted for one minute.

Photo of James McGrathJames McGrath (Queensland, Liberal National Party, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

Australia maintains world-class animal welfare standards. The public can be proud of the high standards of animal husbandry practised by our farmers. Meat processing facilities are required to comply with Australia's animal welfare laws. Meat processors operate in a highly competitive market and are sensitive to the costs that red tape and regulatory burdens have on business viability. State and territory governments are the responsible jurisdictions for animal welfare standards.

The motion presupposes a public consultation period on new and updated draft animal welfare standards and guidelines for poultry. Animal Health Australia is seeking public submissions on the guidelines between 27 November 2017 and 26 February 2018. State and territory agricultural ministers will consider the draft guidelines in light of public submissions.

Question negatived.