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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 6 Hansard (22 June) . . Page.. 1766 ..

Parkwood Egg Farm

(Question No. 171)

Ms Tucker

asked the Minister for Justice and Community Safety, upon notice, on 6 May 1999:

In relation to the entry by members of Animal Liberation into the Parkwood Egg Farm (the Farm) on 2 April 1999

1. Why did the police who attended the incident at the Farm decide not to act as inspectors and undertake an immediate inspection of the Farm, which they are entitled to do under the Animal Welfare Act 1992, when advised by Animal Liberation members that inside the Farm there were serious breaches of the Code of Conduct for the Keeping of Domestic Poultry.

2. Why did the police use an earlier inspection report on the Farm to suggest to the RSPCA official that she had no need to use her emergency powers to enter the Farm to investigate the concerns of the Animal Liberation members, rather than the police taking account of the actual conditions of the hens discovered by Animal Liberation on that day.

3. Why did the police allow media reporters to enter the farm to get a response from Parkwood management but not allow the RSPCA or Animal Liberation members to observe this interview.

4. Was any examination undertaken by the Government Veterinary Officer of the dead hens taken out of the cages by Animal Liberation members and given back to the Farm, and if so, what where the findings of this examination.

5. Given that the breaches of the Code of Conduct revealed by Animal Liberation members on 2 April 1999 are a continuation of breaches found by Animal Liberation in a similar entry to the Farm in October 1995, why has there been no legal action taken since 1995 to address these breaches.

6. What (a) government inspections of the Farm have been undertaken since October 1995 and (b) have been the findings of these inspections.

Mr Humphries

: The answers to Ms Tucker's questions are:

1. Upon arrival at Parkwood Eggs on 2 April 1999, police liaised with the management of the premises and with the protesters. In response to concerns raised by protesters, police did undertake an inspection of the sheds where the protesters were located. While observing an intensive poultry production business, police noted that the birds were being managed in accordance with the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Domestic Poultry (a copy of which had been supplied to police by the protesters). I am advised that Police saw nothing which gave them a grave or serious apprehension that breaches of the Code of Practice or the Animal Welfare Act 1992 were being committed by the proprietors of Parkwood Eggs.

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