Dec 19, 2017

Australia’s animal welfare process is broken and corrupted

The process for developing animal welfare standards for Australian industry is broken -- something the government was told a long time ago by the Productivity Commission.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The regulation of animal welfare in Australia's primary industries remains profoundly flawed more than a year after the Productivity Commission identified serious problems with the system. The latest example of poultry regulation is a perfect summation of the problems the PC identified.

At the end of 2013, the commission released an extensive analysis of the state of regulation of Australian agriculture, and devoted a chapter to animal welfare regulation. While, from an economic perspective, the PC wasn't interested in animal welfare per se, it recognised strong community support for animal welfare laws and a regulatory framework that took that into account. 

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13 thoughts on “Australia’s animal welfare process is broken and corrupted

  1. Andy Lee

    I have been infuriated by the callousness of the LNP – and most people in general – on this topic so often that this news just leaves me with sick resignation now more than anything else. I keep giving to animal welfare, but you had better believe it’s a losing battle.

    Thanks for the piece anyway, Bernard. It’s objective, and hopefully will turn a few heads.

  2. klewso

    Remember when “under the carpet” Jethro wanted to make it an offence for “agri-terrorists” to reveal such abusive “husbandry” under ‘tough new biosecurity measures’ – back in June 2014?

    1. Susan Anderson

      Joyce is probably the mist corrupt politicians in Canberra, he just gave one of his mates $76 million for a water buy back that wasn’t worth half that much, the idiots who elected him should be forced to foot the bill fir every corrupt thing he does ad maybe they’d think twice

  3. Rais

    It’s ironic that the only meat chickens guaranteed not to die in boiling water are the ones abused by the Bernardis and Hansons – the ones prepared for stricter Muslims or Jews in a few abattoirs where a human slaughterer briefly holds and slaughters each bird and will not release it unless it’s been slaughtered. Fully mechanised abattoirs can’t guarantee this because the cutting machine sometimes – not often – misses the bird’s throat.

  4. Daniel

    The point was made by Morrison, repeatedly, that the report was to focus on removing the unnecessary regulatory “burden” on farm businesses. Animal welfare being one of those burdens, obviously. Targeted pressure from consumers is probably the only way of changing things, sadly. We don’t have a government, we have a random selection of idiots and psychopaths.

  5. Damon

    Thank you, Bernard. Those wanting to dip in a little further (and make a submission to the poultry inquiry) can find out more here: https://theconversation.com/proposed-poultry-standards-leave-australia-trailing-behind-other-industrialised-countries-88302

  6. pinkocommierat

    Thank you for raising this. Once again, the community wants change, yet the political class privileges the interests of industry over everybody else.
    One little detail: that photo looks like a showbird. The bird has a lot more space than a hen in a cage egg system.

    1. peter walton

      And looks far healthier.

  7. zut alors

    I recall my grandfather selecting a chicken for the following Sunday roast – it was despatched quickly with a swift swing of an axe. It seems light years removed from the cruelty standard in the 21st century.

    As with marriage equality, the electorate may lead the government on animal welfare with their buying power for free-range & ethical produce.

  8. angela pollard

    Congratulations Bernard for raising issues ignored by others in the media. As you are aware, animal agricultural practices are nothing but state-sanctioned animal cruelty. We need to get animal rights on the mainstream agenda in the same way the LGBTIQ community managed with ssm and feminists are doing with the MeeToo# campaign. What will be the breakthrough moment?

  9. Andrew Craick

    can anyone advise why chickens aren’t just gassed on mass for processing ?
    Slitting throats seems and odd way to dispatch and animal

    1. AR

      Just guessing but, depending on the gas, the contamination of the carcases which then have to be handled & prepared.
      Comes back to cruelty being cheaper & quicker.

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