Today Abigail has written to the Minister for Agriculture to urge action to phase out the use of battery cages for hens in egg production.
The Greens strongly support an end to the use of battery cages, and have been campaigning at a state and federal level for many years for the welfare of hens suffering at the hands of inhumane industrial agriculture practices.
In 2019, Abigail was a member of the NSW Parliament Inquiry into the Use of Battery Cages for Hens in the Egg Production Industry, which saw NSW MPs visit industrial egg farms which use battery cages and see for themselves the cruelty of these operations. While the Inquiry did not recommend the outright phasing out of battery cages, it did recommend further work towards the transition away from their use.
You can find the Greens’ proposed recommendations for this Inquiry, which would have seen battery cages phased out in NSW and the Minister advocate for the Federal Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry to include a national phase-out, on page 108 of the Report here.
The Greens have joined the recent RSPCA campaign and have this week again called on the NSW Agriculture Minister to support an end to the use of battery cages, which you can see below.
If you want to get involved, join the RSPCA's campaign to say Bye Bye Battery Cages.
The text of the above letter reads:
Re: Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry
I write regarding the Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry and specifically the use of battery cages.
In recent days my Lower House Greens colleagues have received a number of requests from their constituents to represent to you their strong objection to the use of battery cages for layer hens in the egg production industry, and to encourage the NSW Government to support the draft Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry, which would see the phasing out of battery cages recognised as best practice for animal welfare.
As you will be aware, the 2019 Select Committee into the Use of Battery Cages for Hens in the Egg Production Industry saw a high level of public concern about animal welfare issues raised by the use of battery cages. Most individual participants in this inquiry called for the end of caged egg production. Additionally, research into Australia's Shifting Mindset on Farm Animal Welfare, commissioned by the Federal Department of Agriculture, found that 95 percent of the community were reported as having a concern about farm animal welfare, with battery cages raised as a point of concern frequently during focus groups.
There is overwhelming community support for the phasing out of battery cages, based on the scientific consensus on poor welfare outcomes for the hens housed in them. I urge you to listen to the community and join the campaign to phase battery cages out, including by supporting the draft Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry which call for an end to battery cage use.
Greens NSW Upper House MP
Spokesperson for Animal Welfare