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Designing Balanced and Effective Farm Animal Welfare Policies for Australia

Farm-animal welfare practices and policies in Australia have been under increasing scrutiny over recent years, and are currently the subject of considerable community and political debate. Australia has very high animal welfare standards, as well as internationally acknowledged scientists, and innovative and proactive industry leaders. However, a section of the Australian population has developed a very high degree of sensitivity to animal welfare issues, to the extent that it could be argued that more and more animal welfare decisions are being hastily made, with these decisions having little real impact on farm-animal welfare, and bearing little relationship to the scientific view of what constitutes animal welfare. This report presents the results and recommendations of research recently undertaken by the Australian Farm Institute. This includes a review of national and international animal welfare science and policies. It also covers the current farm-animal welfare policy systems in Australia, including the main stakeholders and the principles which underpin this policy. Three case studies are discussed which expose the confusion and risks inherent in existing farm-animal welfare programs: live cattle exports; supermarket programs; and the role of the competition authority in defining farm-animal welfare in the egg industry.
Full report: pp. 1-99 (105 pages), April 2015
Australian Farm Institute
Author: Potard, G
ISBN 978-1-921808-37-1 (Print and Web)

$77.00


 
 




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Farm Policy Journal: Vol 11 No 1 2014 Autumn - Full Journal - Farmers fare well with better animal welfare

Australian Farm Institute (2014), Farmers fare well with better animal welfare, Farm Policy Journal, Vol. 11, No. 1 - Autumn 2014, Surry Hills, Australia 
ISSN 1449–2210 (Print)
ISSN 1449–8812 (Web)

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FPJ1101C - Hemsworth, P et al. (2014) - Do Natural Settings Safeguard the Welfare of Domesticated Animals?

FPJ1101C - Hemsworth, P et al. (2014) - Do Natural Settings Safeguard the Welfare of Domesticated Animals?, Farm Policy Journal, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 1-7, Autumn, Surry Hills, Australia.

The use of animals in farming, as with any other animal use, necessitates the responsibility of safeguarding the welfare of these animals. The widely-held view in the Australian community is that the use of animals by humans is acceptable provided that such use is humane. A common belief in the community is that farm animals should be allowed to lead natural lives displaying their normal behaviour and consequently from an animal welfare perspective, some consider modern indoor production systems for livestock as inherently ‘bad’. High animal welfare standards require care and maintenance of animals to meet their nutritional, climatic, social and health requirements and this level of animal management should be provided in any livestock production system, whether indoors or outdoors.
The animal welfare movement is increasingly questioning and influencing views on animal use and the acceptability of various animal management options. While public attitudes to animal welfare are influential, science has an important role in underpinning governments’ decisions, on behalf of the community, on animal use and the attendant conditions and compromises. Science provides the means to understand the impact of a production system on the animal and thus underpins the evidence-based development of animal welfare standards. The exclusion of science in this process of establishing animal welfare standards will result in emotive or ideological arguments from sectional interests dominating community debate.

 

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FPJ1101D - Grandin, T (2014) - Making Slaughterhouses, More Humane for Cattle, Pigs, and Sheep

FPJ1101D - Grandin, T (2014) - Making Slaughterhouses, More Humane for Cattle, Pigs, and Sheep, Farm Policy Journal, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 9-31, Autumn, Surry Hills, Australia.

When a stunning method is being evaluated, it is essential that the animal-handling and restraint methods that are used with it are also examined. This makes it possible to determine the effect of the entire system on animal welfare. Cattle, pigs, and sheep will move easily through the races at a slaughter plant if visual distractions such as reflections on shiny metal, dangling chains, moving equipment, or people up ahead are removed. The most important scientific research on captive bolt, CO2, and electrical stunning methods is reviewed. A common mistake made by people evaluating insensibility is to misinterpret reflexive leg kicks as a sign of return to sensibility. When religious slaughter is being evaluated, the variable of how the animal is restrained must be separated from the variable of slaughter without stunning. Slaughter can be done with a high level of animal welfare.

 

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