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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 6 Hansard (21 May) . . Page.. 1563 ..

MRS CARNELL (continuing):

Two coronary care patients arrived at the emergency department at Woden Valley Hospital in the early hours of this morning. They were stabilised and monitored in the emergency department. One was admitted to coronary care at 9.30 this morning. The other had further tests this morning and after review of those results was discharged and sent home. A further two patients who were operated on this morning experienced a short delay - between 45 minutes and an hour - before beds were available in the intensive care unit. Mr Speaker, I am also advised that Woden Valley Hospital has, on average, 591 beds - seven more than when we came to government.

Mr Berry: Would you care to table that?

MRS CARNELL: Yes, I am happy to do that.

Public Service - Performance Indicators

MRS CARNELL: I table the list of people on the outputs group. It relates to another question that I have already answered.

Code of Practice and Papers

Debate resumed from 12 December 1995, on motion by Mr Humphries:

That the Assembly takes note of the papers.

MS HORODNY (4.36): Mr Speaker, the Government's statement on animal welfare and domestic poultry warrants a strong response, because it actually brings no improvement at all in the welfare of domestic poultry. It will not provide additional space for battery cage hens, as it applies only to hens which are heavy enough to be affected. Since the vast majority of hens in the battery cage system are not heavy enough to be affected, there will be no gain in space for them. That leads to the question: Why are the hens not reaching the weight that would allow them additional space? The reason is that the supervision of the hens is so poor that over 600 die each week in the Parkwood establishment alone - and that is not from old age. These hens are no more than one to two years old. They die because of neglect which leads to dehydration, starvation and disease.

Unfortunately, under our legislation farm animals in our society are treated very differently from most other animals. Minimum and unacceptable standards have gone into our codes of practice and, in turn, those codes are increasingly being recognised under prevention of cruelty to animals legislation as the acceptable standard and animals kept in these conditions are exempt from prosecution. If a pet cockatoo was given just 450 square centimetres of space for its life - or even for 18 months of its life, as a battery hen is given - the owner would be prosecuted for failing to provide it with an opportunity

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