Page 3436 - Week 11 - Thursday, 19 September 2013

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The bill makes minor editorial amendments to keep legislation up to date across a range of provisions and these are outlined in the detailed notes accompanying the bill. This amendment touches on legislation that dictates and governs planning, development, environment and environment protection matters in the ACT. The amendments are technical and non-controversial in nature. As always, the Parliamentary Counsel and officers of my directorate are available to brief members on the bill. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Coe) adjourned to the next sitting.

Animal Welfare (Factory Farming) Amendment Bill 2013

Mr Rattenbury, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for Ageing) (10.27): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Madam Speaker, the bill that I am presenting today amends the Animal Welfare Act 1992 to prohibit the use of two forms of factory farming in the ACT: battery cages for egg production and the use of sow stalls and gestation crates for pigs. Both of these methods of farming are cruel. Both of these methods of farming are inhumane, and both of these methods of farming fail to meet community expectations.

According to research conducted by the RSPCA, the vast majority of Australians would prefer to eat humanely produced or cruelty-free egg and pork products. As more are people finding out about how their food is being produced, they are finding intensive confinement of farm animals unacceptable.

Although the Tasmanian government announced that it would phase out the use of both battery cages and sow stalls, legislation to do so was never passed in the Tasmanian parliament. I believe that now it is finally time for the ACT to take a stand and show national leadership by becoming the first Australian jurisdiction to finally legislate to outlaw these cruel practices. The Assembly’s passage of this bill will help to progress positive national movement on factory farming issues.

The ACT has long been a national leader on animal welfare issues. The ACT was the first jurisdiction in Australia to ban tail docking of dogs in 2001 and within a few years all other states and territories followed suit.

Many other countries and jurisdictions around the world have also banned battery egg production. The European Union’s ban came into effect last year, although it has been banned in Switzerland since 1992. Battery hens are also banned in seven states of the

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