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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 2897 ..

Code of Practice and Papers

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General) (3.50): Mr Speaker, pursuant to section 6 of the Subordinate Laws Act 1989, I present the following papers:

Animal Welfare Act - Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Domestic Poultry -

Approval No. 162 of 1995, dated 3 December 1995.

Explanatory memorandum.

Gazette S304, dated 7 December 1995.

Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals - Domestic Poultry, 3rd edition.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the papers.

Mr Speaker, I am pleased to table the third edition of the National Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Domestic Poultry, which I recently approved under the ACT Animal Welfare Act 1992. I am making this statement in view of the community interest in battery egg production and to put on record the ACT Government's approach to this issue. The new code applies to the ACT from the date of its gazettal. This code is the result of much deliberation by a national working party which included representation from industry, animal welfare groups and independent scientists. The code of practice incorporates improvements endorsed by the Ministerial Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand and is now a national model code of practice for Australia.

The code specifies space allowance requirements to be provided for poultry until the end of this year and the increased space allowance to be provided from 1 January 1996. I understand that the majority of Australia's battery hen farms will need to modify their systems to meet the new standard - a standard which provides a significant increase in the space for battery hens. Parkwood Eggs supplies 80 per cent of the hen eggs consumed in the ACT. It is inspected regularly, at least twice per year, by ACT government inspectors. In 1995 it has been inspected five times by government inspectors, accompanied on one inspection by RSPCA inspectors and two independent veterinarians. The inspectors are entitled to demand rectification of any failure to meet the code's standards or to prosecute. Parkwood Eggs has always proved fully cooperative to all suggestions for matters requiring rectification. Parkwood Eggs' farm complies with the requirements in the current code and it is aware of the increased floor allowances specified in this code to be provided from 1 January 1996. These revised requirements will be strictly enforced, as have been the requirements of the earlier code.

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