The Australian Chicken Meat Federation today welcomes the release for public consultation of new draft poultry welfare standards and guidelines. These requirements and recommendations for achieving good poultry welfare have been developed in consultation with poultry industries in Australia, government, scientists and animal welfare groups.
This represents a significant step forward for poultry welfare in Australia. At the conclusion of this process, many practices that contribute to good bird welfare, which were previously adopted voluntarily, will become law in all Australian States and Territories. This will lead to a more robust animal welfare regime across Australia, with appropriate standards embedded in law so that governments can actually enforce acceptable practices and take action should these not be met.
The release of the draft standards and guidelines for public consultation is the culmination of a lengthy and rigorous process, requiring reviews of the science, consideration of standards in other countries, extensive consultation with many stakeholders, and collection and analysis of data to understand what the costs and benefits of the proposed standards will mean for the Australian economy, consumers, industry, and of course the birds themselves.
The ACMF will fully endorse the enforcement of the standards, once in place.
About Standards and Guidelines
- Standards will ultimately become the legal requirements for welfare and will use the word ‘must’. They will form the basis of new laws developed by state and territory governments.
- Guidelines will be the recommended practices to achieve desirable welfare outcomes. They will use the word ‘should’ and are designed to complement the standards.
Process for developing the draft Poultry Welfare Standards and Guidelines
- The process for developing the standards and guidelines involved the preparation of draft standards and guidelines by a Drafting Group. The Drafting Group identified and considered the relevant available science. While the poultry industries did not have representation on the Drafting Group, their input was sought on matters such as current industry best practice, key poultry welfare issues to be addressed in the standards and sources of underpinning science.
- A Standards Advisory Group contributed technical and expert advice into the process as the draft standards and guidelines were further refined and elaborated. The Standards Advisory Group comprised representatives of the poultry industries, Australian and State and Territory governments, the RSPCA, Animals Australia, the Australian Veterinary Association and ananimal welfare scientist.
- Animal Health Australia (AHA) was appointed by governments to manage the standards and guidelines development process. AHA is a not-for-profit public company that facilitates partnerships between governments, livestock industries and other stakeholders to improve animal health, food safety, animal welfare, livestock productivity and national biosecurity.
For further information, visit the Animal Health Australia website – www.animalwelfarestandards.net.au/poultry/poultry-public-consultation/