Wednesday, July 20, 2016

New standards to replace Australia's Model Code for Poultry

New animal welfare standards and guidelines are being drafted for poultry – to replace the Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals (Domestic Poultry). One benefit of the new standards will be that they will be supposed to apply evenly throughout Australia, instead of the fragmented adoption of regulations in the Model Code. Animal Health Australia is developing the new standards, which it says will provide a basis for developing and implementing consistent legislation and enforcement across Australia, and provide guidance for all people responsible for poultry. They will aim to reflect contemporary scientific knowledge, provide competent animal husbandry advice, meet mainstream community expectations, that can be maintained and enforced in a consistent, cost-effective manner. The rationale is to achieve a measurable increase in best practice guidelines and industry verification systems and tools for animal welfare to support market access and to ensure that consistent and harmonised animal welfare arrangements across jurisdictions deliver consistent outcomes. The development process will allow industry to examine poultry welfare issues and determine a suitable industry position that meets community expectations. The Australian state and territory governments are responsible for the regulation of animal welfare in Australia. Under the Federal Constitution, States and Territories have the primary jurisdiction for animal welfare within Australia. A stakeholder Advisory group will be established to assist with the development of the standards which are expected to provide the basis for developing and implementing consistent legislation and enforcement across Australia. It remains to be seen how effective the new standards will be, but we can live in hope that they will be fair and workable.Public consultation is expected to begin in November but decisions have probably already been made to adopt standards favoured by the corporate producers.

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