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22 Years


The Pig 1983 2nd Edition 1998, Under review again. The Intensive Farming of Rabbits - 1991 ... cooperation, industry can delay indefinitely review of codes. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: 22 Years

22 Years Australias animal welfare laws,
industry/government alliances, attitudes and
government processes.
  • Glenys Oogjes
  • Executive Director

Animal Law Workshop 24 September 2005
Some significant dates/events
  • 1976 Animal Liberation the book- by Peter
  • 1978/79 Animal Liberation the groups, started
    around Australia focusing on factory farming
  • 1980 AFAS (Australian Federation of Animal
    Societies) formed with 24 founding societies
    (spurred by Minister Nixon saying an inquiry into
    intensive farming would be launched if only he
    could deal with just a single policy entity)
  • November 16 1983 Senate motion by Don Chipp, to
    establish a Select Committee on Animal Welfare

A Senate Select Inquiry into Animal Welfare,
1983 - 1991
  • Terms of Ref. to inquire into and report upon
  • The question of animal welfare in Australia,
    with particular reference to
  • interstate and overseas commerce in animals
  • wildlife protection and harvesting
  • animal experimentation
  • codes of practice of animal husbandry for all
    species and
  • the use of animals in sport.

A Senate Select Inquiry into Animal Welfare,
1983 - 1991
  • Aspects of Animal Welfare in the Racing Industry
  • Tabled August 1991
  • Equine Welfare In Competitive Events Other Than
  • Tabled August 1991
  • Transport of livestock within Australia
  • Tabled August 1991
  • Culling of large feral animals in the Northern
  • Tabled June 1991
  • Intensive livestock production
  • Tabled June 1990
  • The racing industry - Interim Report
  • Tabled June 1990
  • Sheep Husbandry
  • Tabled October 1989
  • Animal Experimentation
  • Tabled 1989
  • Kangaroos
  • Tabled 1988
  • Dolphins and whales in captivity

SSCAW - recommendations
  • Live export (1985)
  • The Committee came to the conclusion that if a
    decision was to be made on the future of the
    trade purely on animal welfare grounds, there is
    enough evidence to stop the trade. The trade
    is, in many respects, inimical to good animal
    welfare, and it is not in the interests of the
    animal to be transported to the Middle East for
  • The implementation of reforms will help to
    reduce but not eliminate stress, suffering and
    risk during transportation of sheep to the Middle
  • Therefore a long term solution must be sought.
    The substitution of the sheep meat trade for the
    live export trade offers such a solution.
  • Export of live sheep from Australia Report of
    the SSCAW 1985

SSCAW - recommendations
  • Intensive pig farming (1990)
  • It is this Committees view that an intensive
    system is proper if the health of the animals is
    not affected, if their behaviour is not
    disturbed, and if their adaptability is not
  • The Committee has considered the dry sow housing
    question and noting the advantages of stalls and
    tethers (protection from bullying, close
    monitoring and control of food intake), believes
    both to be undesirable means of restraint.
  • future trends in housing of the dry sow should
    be away from individually-confined stall
  • sow size has increased over the years and so
    recommended that attention should be given to
    sow stalls and farrowing crates to ensure they
    do not cause suffering due to cramping, and
    that the Pig Code should be revised so that
    stalls and crates reflect the body dimensions of
    large sows.
  • Intensive Livestock Production Report of SSCAW

And the outcome of a decade of awakening? Many
suggested Code changes..
  • New legislation, Codes, exemptions
  • Legislation was reviewed in all States from 1985
    onwards. All looked to ways to exempt
    intensive farming and other controversial
    practices from the cruelty provisions of the
    Acts. The Codes provided the means.
  • E.g. 1992 review started to Qld 1925 Act
    Drafting instruction stated
  • Obviously, it will be quite some time before
    Codes can be developed and introduced under the
  • A way must be found to ensure that accepted
    practices under current legislation do not become
    illegal in the interim.
  • A practical way of dealing with this problem
    could be to make a Regulation stating that where
    a Code of Practice has not been incorporated
    under this new legislation, acknowledged
    practices will remain legal.
  • From Corish J.A. of NSW Agriculture
    Ministerial Review of POCTA, Vol 2 Comparative
    Study of Australasian Legislation, Feb. 1993

Codes of Practice how they eventuated
  • After the development of the poultry Code Other
    early Codes were developed as national guidelines
    by the Commonwealth Bureau of Animal Health after
    the Australian Agricultural Council (AAC) in 1980
    considered the mounting challenges by animal
    welfare interests to accepted methods of
    Australian livestock management and animal
    experimentation. In particular, the Council
    considered implications for the intensive animal
    industries and live animal exports with a focus
    on the conditions of transport of livestock over
    long distances, aspects of the slaughter of
    stock, intensive farming practices in the pig and
    poultry industries and the control of feral
  • Review of the Model Codes of Practice for the
    Welfare of Animals,
  • Neumann, February 2005 Unpublished, available
    from AA.
  • When documenting the agricultural industry view
    of Codes, Neumann states
  • there is a general concern that involvement of
    the industries in Code development was based on
    documenting existing management practices and
    that compliance would be voluntary.
  • N.B. Model Codes are available from
  • State adopted Codes may vary slightly from the
    nationally-determined Model Codes.

Model Codes of Practice for the Welfare of
Animals NAME OF CODE REVIEWS ? Road Transport
of Livestock 1983 (now species/specific
Codes) Rail Transport of Livestock 1983 Sea
Transport of Livestock 1987 Australian
Standards for the Export of Livestock
2005 Air Transport of Livestock 1986 Animals at
Saleyards - 1991 Cattle 1992 2nd Edition
2004 Domestic Poultry - 1983 2nd Edition 1992,
3rd 1995, 4th 2002 Farmed Buffalo -1995 Farmed
Ostriches - 2003 Feral Livestock Animals
1991 Under review Husbandry of Captive Bred Emus
1999 Under review (changes to toe
cutting!) Land Transport of Cattle - 1999 Land
Transport of Horses - 1997 Land Transport of Pigs
- 1997 Land Transport of Poultry 1998 Under
review Livestock at Slaughtering Establishments -
2001 The Pig 1983 2nd Edition 1998, Under
review again The Intensive Farming of Rabbits -
1991 The Camel 1997 Under review The
Farming of Deer - 1991 The Goat - 1991 The Sheep
1991 New Mulesing Appendix
Codes document practices to ensure they cannot be
  • Exemptions
  • Compliance with Codes is effectively an exemption
    in all jurisdictions but formalized defence
    clauses occur in
  • NT Section 79
  • Victoria Section 6 (1)
  • Queensland Section 40
  • Western Australia Sect 25
  • SA Sect 43 (and SA alone makes compliance a
  • The other States/ACT each recognise Codes
    (gazetted) and thus effectively enable them to be
    used as an indicator to a magistrate of
    acceptable husbandry standards (NSW, Tas, ACT)

What existing Codes allow
  • Castration of farm animals without anaesthetic
  • Cutting the toes off emu chicks (de-clawing)
  • Cutting or grinding the teeth of piglets
  • De-horning of adult cattle
  • Hot iron branding of cattle
  • De-beaking of chickens with a hot iron/wire
  • Transporting cattle can be for up to 48 hours,
    and up to 30 hours for sheep
  • Giving hens less than the equivalent of an A4
    page/space, no perch, no nest
  • Allowing pregnant sows just a cement/metal stall,
    where they cannot even turn around
  • Allowing sows to give birth and nurse piglets in
    farrowing crates for another 4 weeks
  • Mulesing sheep (cutting the skin from their
    behind, with no analgesia)
  • Flank spaying of adult cattle
  • Tail docking of adult (dairy) cattle, lambs,
    piglets (without pain relief)
  • Raising of meat chickens at about 20 birds per
    square metre

Other Codes?
  • Research Code (Code of Practice for the Care and
    Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes)
    regulatory in all jurisdictions
  • State/Territory Codes other than livestock (in
    films, shelters, pet shops etc)
  • Rodeos Guidelines (NCCAW)
  • Circus Guidelines (NCCAW)

Review and updating of Codes very slowly
  • Timetable for reviews - Lack of interest?
  • The very first Codes had no indication in them
    that they were to be reviewed in any particular
    time frame
  • e.g. 1983 Pig Code states The Model Code may be
    revised to take account of advances in the
    understanding of animal physiology and behaviour,
    technological changes in animal husbandry and
    their relationships to the welfare of animals.
  • Senate inquiry then recommended that the Codes be
    reviewed every five years -
  • to take account of technological changes,
    advances in understanding of physiology and
    behavior of animal to reflect prevailing
    community attitudes.
  • Intensive Livestock Farming SSCAW 1989.
  • The 1999 Land Transport of Cattle Code suggests
    it will be reviewed in 5 years,
  • the 2001 Poultry Code says it will be reviewed in
  • whilst the 2nd edition of the Cattle Code (2004)
    suggests it too will be reviewed in 2010.
  • Neither the 10 year nor the 5 year review
    timetable has ever worked.

Review and updating of Codes very slowly
  • Timetable for reviews
  • few resources AWWG (Animal Welfare Working
    Group) processes haphazard/variable
  • very little interest from industries
  • N.B. the Neumann Report came from a consultancy
  • initiated by AWWG to consider these problems
  • This lack of funding clearly shows a lack of
    genuine interest and backing by Governments.
  • A willingness to accept the status quo until
    there is a need to react!
  • Govt provides animal users with exemptions that
    allow acts that cause suffering - yet Govt
    refuses to force them to the table to reconsider
  • Through noncooperation, industry can delay
    indefinitely review of codes.
  • And - Even if there were welfare
    implications/improvements detailed in codes (and
    there have not been) - codes are not enforceable.

State/ Ttry Act Department Responsible NCCAW members AWWG Member AWAC?
ACT Animal Welfare Act 1992 Environment ACT Dept of Environment No member Yes (Stat)
NSW POCTA 1979 Animal Research Act 1985 Exhibited Animals Protection Act 1986 NSW Agriculture NSW Agriculture NSW Agriculture Yes (Stat)
NT Animal Welfare Act 1999 Dept of Local Government, Housing and Sport Dept of Primary Industry, Fisheries and Mines Dept of Primary Industry, Fisheries and Mines Yes (Stat)
Qld Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries Yes (Stat)
SA POCTA 1985 Dept of Environment and Heritage Dept of Environment and Heritage Dept of Primary Industries and Resources Yes (Stat)
Tas Animal Welfare Act 1993 Dept Primary Industries, Water and Environment Dept Primary Industries, Water and Environment Dept Primary Industries, Water and Environment Yes (Stat) (meeting irregularly)
Victoria POCTA 1986 Dept of Primary Industries Dept of Primary Industries Dept of Primary Industries Yes (not Stat)
Western Australia Animal Welfare Act 2002 Dept of Local Government and Regional Development Dept of Local Government and Regional Development Department of Agriculture No
Federal Co-ord roles import/ export, science funding (NHMRC policy etc) Dept of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry Dept of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry AWWG secretariat PISC/PIMC chairs Yes (not Stat) NCCAW
Other members NCCAW Dept of Enviro and Heritage, AVA, NHMRC, Animal Health Aust., ,NFF (x2), AWWG Chair, AA, RSPCA Aust., DAFF secretariat. AWWG - Department reps as above. Plus CSIRO member Animal Health Australia rep. (representing ruraal industry groups
(No Transcript)
Code Development
  • Bureau of Animal Health in 1980s
  • Animal Welfare Working Group (AWWG) now
  • Until 2000 community groups (RSPCA/AA) merely
  • Now on Writing Groups

Code review examples..
  • Pig Code review Writing Group 2004/05
  • Vic Dept of PI Chair (AWWG member)
  • SA Dept of PI and Resources (AWWG member)
  • NSW Agriculture (AWWG member)
  • Agriculture WA (AWWG member)
  • Prof John Barnett AWSC
  • DPI Vic Pig Specialist Vet
  • Manager Welfare Australian Pork Ltd (APL)
  • Prime Consulting International (appointed by APL)
  • General Manager APL
  • Research Scientists from QAF Large piggery
  • Quality Control Officer Coles Myer Ltd
  • Animals Australia
  • RSPCA Australia

Code review examples..
  • Pig Code review

Code review examples..
  • Pig Code review - delayed first (from 2003) due
    to drought and research underway.
  • That research?? By Dr John Barnett of Animal
    Welfare Science Centre
  • Sow stall dimensions
  • 0.6 m wide better than 0.75 m wide stalls
  • based on lower total and free cortisol
  • reduced responsiveness to ACTH
  • increased immunoresponsiveness
  • 2.2 m long stalls associated with lower stress
  • based on lower total and free cortisol
  • reduced responsiveness to ACTH
  • increased immunoresponsiveness
  • see full ppt re this
  • http//www.animal-welfare.org.au/comm/download/dim

Code review examples
  • Pig Code review (2004/5) Writing group,
    Positions on sow stalls
  • A Industry proposes that they could
    economically afford to introduce the capital and
    management changes to allow for a maximum period
    of confinement of 10 weeks in each gestation,
    within a 15 year phase in period .
  • B AWWG, Research and AVA - In terms of
    management requirements (pregnancy testing,
    mating management etc..) there should be a
    maximum period of confinement of 6 weeks
    followed by group housing until placed in
    farrowing crates. A transition period of 5-10
    years was discussed to achieve this.
  • C Animal welfare organisations
  • RSPCA recommend an immediate ban on the building
    of new stalls (from introduction of the code),
    one year after the code is introduced a limit on
    use of stalls to the first 5-6 weeks of
    gestation, and in 5-7 years after code
    introduction a ban on the use of sow stalls.
  • Animals Australia. A total and immediate ban on
    use of dry sow stalls and current farrowing crate
    on welfare grounds.
  • Current situation considered by AWWG, and new
    draft and RIS being
  • drafted for public consultation likely to
    reflect position B above.

Code review examples..
  • Poultry Code review
  • In 2000/2001 a similar Writing Group for the
    poultry Code.
  • Again industry interests both egg industry (x2)
    and meat chicken industry (x 2) held sway.
  • In this case they would not accept the clear
    science on a number of issues e.g.
  • Scientific papers say that raising hens on litter
    and with perches leads to better adjusted hens
    for barn and free range production (less pecking,
    fewer floor eggs/better nesting).
  • AA and RSPCA Aust. wanted this to be a
    recommendation of the Code.
  • The industry insisted that overseas scientific
    research was not relevant - and they got their

Code review examples..
  • Mulesing appendix to Sheep Code (2004/5 after
    announcement of mulesing ban by 2010)
  • .even if there is an important agreement at the
    Writing Group Stage it can be varied at any
    stage in the bureaucratic process
  • AWWG
  • AHC
  • PISC
  • PIMC (Primary Industries Ministerial Council
    see http//www.mincos.gov.au/ )
  • RIS
  • State Legislation/regulation
  • Final Writing Group (March 2005)
  • Mulesing must only be done by operators
    accredited under the National Mulesing
    Accreditation Program from 31st December 2006.
  • But the current intention after AWWG/PISC (not
    written publicly yet)
  • All Mulesing contractors (approx 1000 1300)
    will have to be trained and accredited by
  • but farmers/producers (approx 11,000 -17,000)
    will only have to be accredited by 31/12/08.
  • The full ban on mulesing is to be in place by

Current attempts to exempt further cruel
practices -
  • E.g. Emu code re de-clawing (de-toeing) not
    mentioned in the existing Code
  • New proposed inclusion
  • 7.3 Declawing
  • 7.3.1 Emus must be kept in facilities where
    natural aggression is effectively
  • managed. If emus are kept in extensive conditions
    it may be necessary for emus
  • to be declawed. If this procedure is deemed
    necessary to reduce aggression and
  • stereotype behaviors which can contribute to
    social stress and skin damage, it
  • should be carried out by a skilled operator at
    3-5 days of age. Declawing must
  • not be carried out on chicks over 5 days old.
  • 7.3.2 Declawing involves the removal of the
    distal or last phalengeal (bony part of
  • the toe) joint using sharp clean sheep mulesing
    shears, beak trimming machine or
  • other suitable device, angled to retain the
    bottom part of the last phalanx within
  • the foot pad. Declawing by either of these
    methods will minimise the risk of both
  • acute and chronic pain resulting from tissue and
    nerve damage.
  • RIS discussion -

Compliance with (cruel) Codes?
  • Examples of non-compliance
  • The NSW Contractors Association has apparently
    surveyed sheep at saleyards and noted that
    between 60-80 of sheep have been incorrectly
    mulesed (radical mules or crooked tails through
    unskilled jobs).
  • Tail docking of whole herds of dairy cows is
    still common in some areas (usually the wetter
    areas) including in Victoria (Source survey by
    Barnett of Victorian Institute of Animals
    Science, DPI)
  • Farmers have commented that teeth grinding of
    sheep continues (e.g. to AWAC), and some have
    said it is widespread
  • Anecdotal reports of pigs being transported for
    between 60-70 hours (across the Nullabor) when 48
    hours is the maximum (Source government officer
    comments at the Victorian AWAC and at NCCAW).
  • Recent comprehensive documentation (by Animals
    Angels) of sheep transport between WA feedlots
    and live export ships, showing injured and downed
    animals, and over loaded trucks arriving
    regularly at the wharf (in contravention of the
    WA transport Code and the new Australian
    Standards for the Export of Livestock).
  • Provisional results from the APL producer survey
    indicate that 44 of dry sow stalls currently in
    use in Australia are narrower than the
    recommended width and 37 are shorter than the
    recommended length.

Other Exemptions
  • Legislative Exemptions
  • NSW
  • 9 Confined animals to be exercised
  • (1) A person in charge of an animal which is
    confined shall not fail to provide the animal
    with adequate exercise.
  • (1A) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person in
    charge of an animal if the animal is
  • (a) a stock animal other than a horse, or
  • (b) an animal of a species which is usually kept
    in captivity by means of a cage.
  • And Sect 24 where surgical mutilations are
    listed and thus exempted.
  • Victoria
  • Exemptions for things done under the Catchment
    and Land Protection Act, Meat Industry Act,
    Wildlife Act, recreational fishing done in accord
    with the Fisheries Act.
  • WA
  • Defence - (a) the animal is stock of a kind that
    is ordinarily left to roam at large on a pastoral
    property and to fend for itself
  • Tasmania
  • Regulations in Tasmania to allow battery farms
    after a win in Tassie in 1993 by Pam Clarke

Advisory Structures
  • Animal Welfare Advisory Committees (AWACs)
  • Purpose - to advise the Minister on current
    issues and upgrades in regards to COPs and
  • Members of AWACs
  • Usually 2 animal welfare representatives,
    companion animal person, Vet rep, 2 FF reps,
    animals in research environment department plus
    primary industries.
  • How often to they meet?Should meet at least
  • How effective are they?
  • Totally dependent upon the Minister and
    political issues.
  • E.g. NSW AWAC recommended a ban on duckshooting
    and got it in 1995.
  • Queensland in one of its first acts (only
    commenced last year) recommended duckshooting
    be banned and got it last month.
  • Victoria the largest duckshooting State its
    AWAC has recommended a ban on duckshooting in
    each of 1993, 1995, 2000, and 2003 but no
    Minister has decided to ban it.
  • Again, the existence of AWACs provide the
    perception that the issue of animal welfare is
    being addressed seriously by governments.

Advisory Structures (cont)
  • National Consultative Committee on Animal Welfare
    advises the federal Minister for Agriculture,
    currently Minister McGauran.
  • Examples of advice taken.
  • Glue traps, Australian Animal Welfare Strategy,
    Animal Care Statements into slaughterhouses,
    National guidelines circuses, rodeos, national
    statistics for research harmonisation, fishing
    guidelines etc

Blocks in place once advances look likely
  • ACT battery hen legislation
  • phase out and labelling, problem with Competition
    Principles Agreement
  • Without the agreement of all States they could
    not proceed with the will of the people.
  • (background see AA website re history
    1272idL21281idL31589 )
  • And the Productivity Commissions report
  • http//www.pc.gov.au/study/batthen/index.html
  • WTO requirements
  • Essential to the WTOs interpretation of fair
    trade is that a country cannot effectively refuse
    to import a product that was manufactured in a
    way that was detrimental or in any way harmful to
    animals, people or the environment.
  • In practice, if a nation chooses not to import a
    product because of an unacceptable production
    method, that country must either ban the import
    of the product entirely or accept every import of
    the product, regardless of production method.
  • In practice, this means that an egg produced by a
    hen kept in a battery cage is seen as no
    different from an egg produced by a hen kept in
    free range conditions.
  • local producers then tend to resist moves to
    improve animal welfare legislation concerned
    their increased costs will make them

Government Industry alliances
  • Agriculture ministers -Ministers conflict of
  • Four of the 8 State and Territory Ministers are
    Agriculture ministers, plus the federal Minister
    McGauran. In a general sense their
    stakeholders or clients are the agricultural
    industries, and the promotion of their product.
  • Live export support Hassall vs Heilbron
    economic reports
  • The government (and industry) continues to quote
    from an economic report by Hassall Pty Ltd.. At
    the time the Chairman of LiveCorp Peter Frawley
    was on the board of Hassall Pty Ltd. The Hassall
    report says 9,000 Australian jobs dependent upon
    live export.
  • Hassall report commissioned by Meat and
    Livestock Australia Ltd for Livecorp, completed
    July 2000
  • But Heilbron says - if the sheep and cattle
    currently (1999/2000) exported live were instead
    processed in Australia, a further approximately
    1.5 billion would be added to Australias Gross
    Domestic Product (GDP), around 250 million more
    in household income and around 10,500 full time
    jobs would be created.
  • S G Heilbron report Impact of the Live Animal
    Export Sector on the Australian Meat Processing
    Industry commissioned by Australian Meat
    Processor Corporation Limited April 2000
  • Both reports available from AA

Government Industry alliances
  • McGauran Quote re PETA
  • The Federal Government says it will not support
    the agreement between Australian Woolgrowers
    Association and People for the Ethical Treatment
    of Animals (PETA), for an end to mulesing.PETA
    has promised to end its call for a boycott of
    Australian wool if the industry supports the
    agreement.But the Federal Agriculture Minister,
    Peter McGauran, says the Australian industry
    should stop negotiating with the group and
    concentrate on reassuring its customers. "PETA
    should not be elevated to this level of
    importance, where they seem to have some form of
    veto over the marketing legitimacy of Australian
    grown wool," Mr McGauran said. "PETA is
    irrational, it is implacably opposed to the
    Australian wool industry and consequently they
    can't be dealt with."
  • ABC news report 25/8/05

The challenge ahead
  • A huge barrier to change has been, and is, the
    industry-Government alliance.
  • Exemptions and cruel practices allowed by
    existence and content of codes and must be
  • The opportunity is now in all our hands to
    capitalise on the surge in community concern and
    interest (and consumer power).
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