Wednesday, May 18, 2011

More bodgy 'free range' applications to come

A planning application lodged with Mitchell Shire at Seymour in Victoria looks like one of the first applications for a 'free range' farm being set up under the proposed high density standards which the Australian Egg Corporation is still trying to establish.

Valley Park Farms has lodged a planning application for an 'intensive animal husbandry' facility but in its press releases, the company refers to it as a 'free range' egg farm. Free Range Farmers Association has lodged an objection and asked the Shire to consider the stocking density proposed on the farm.
It pointed out the requirements of The Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals - Domestic Poultry  which allows a maximum stocking density on free range egg farms of 1500 birds per hectare. The total amount of land on which this development is proposed is 84.7 Ha - indicating an absolute maximum farm capacity of 127,000 chickens.
The proponents are suggesting 170,000 birds in a total of ten sheds.
The land will be divided into paddocks and the property will also have ancilliary shedding, roads, laneways, and the application includes a dwelling, which all reduce the amount of land on which the birds can roam to qualify as 'free range'.
FRFA also asked the Council to establish how much of the land will be accessed by the hens every day and impose a permit limit on the number of hens to meet the requirements of the Model Code. The stocking density proposed is likely to have serious off-site implications as a result of contaminated run-off.
The application is Planning Permit No P306142/10 To use and develop the land for intensive animal husbandry with caretaker's dwelling and to remove native vegetation. Goulburn Valley Highway, Seymour.


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