THE public has had their say on the welfare of egg-laying hens and poultry with a record number of comments received for new Australian guidelines and standards.
Public consultation on the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry ended on Monday with Animal Health Australia receiving more than 165,000 submissions.
The new guidelines will replace 35-year-old animal welfare code of practices.
The RSPCA WA and Midland Junction Poultry Society attended a state government roundtable in January to provide feedback on the guidelines.
RSPCA WA president Lynne Bradshaw told Echo News last month that a possible phase-out of battery cages was discussed at the meeting while Midland Junction Poultry Society president Graham McLevie said local industry welcomed the opportunity to have their opinions heard at state level.
Five times the amount of submissions were received when compared to submissions on guidelines for sheep and cattle, livestock land transport and saleyards and depots and slaughterhouses, endorsed in 2005.
“Such extensive public consultation is what we set out to achieve, so it’s a fantastic result,” said Animal Health Australia chief executive Kathleen Plowman.
“These submissions will help guide the development of the next version of the S&Gs and ensure that a robust document is delivered to Australia’s agriculture ministers.”
The submissions will be reviewed by an independent consultant, who will deliver a report to the Animal Welfare Task Group and a revised welfare standards document will be developed.
The report and submissions will be available in June at www.ani