MEDIA RELEASE: 30th October 2019
NSW EGG INDUSTRY’S DIRTY PLAN SUPPORTED BY LABOR IN UPPER HOUSE INQUIRY
Chair of the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into the “Use of Battery Cages for Hens in the Egg Production Industry” the Hon. Emma Hurst MLC, has hit out at the Opposition following today’s release of the inquiry report, calling their support for the cage egg industry and plans for misleading labelling “repulsive”.
Amendments to the report as pushed by industry lobby groups, saw the time frame for a phase out removed and limited to ‘conventional cages’ in favour of so-called ‘furnished cages’.
“While furnished cages are used overseas, the NSW Egg Industry revealed during the inquiry that their proposed definition of a furnished caged is eerily similar to the battery cage,” said Ms Hurst.
“Industry’s proposed definition for a furnished cage allows only 550cm2 per hen, by contrast overseas furnished cages are at least 750cm2,” said Ms Hurst.
NSW Labor amendments recommended an industry-heavy ‘working group’ to decide on the definition, meaning that the NSW version of a furnished caged could see hens with exactly the same space restrictions as they currently have in a battery cage.
“I am appalled that Labor is supporting the industry's desire to lie to consumers and use fancy words to confuse and hide the truth,” continued Ms Hurst.
“I am deeply concerned that industry will tell consumers that battery/conventional cages are being phased out. In reality these new so-called ‘furnished cages’ will be no better- or possibly worse- than the conditions hens are in now.
“I am revolted at the failure of the Government and the Opposition to support a recommendation for an enforceable, time-based phase out of all cages at either a state or national level.
“This inquiry received over 14,000 submissions, the overwhelming majority of which called for a phase out of the cage system. The Government and Opposition are neglecting the staggering volume of evidence we heard from welfare groups, experts, and the wider community who feel the industry is long overdue for serious reform.
“It is sickening that the Government and NSW Labor have chosen to continue to condemn millions of hens to these inhumane conditions.
“Despite this unethical and barbaric decision, I will not, and the Animal Justice Party will not give up. Together with the people of NSW, we will continue to demand that the cruel caged hen industry is brought to an end” said Ms Hurst.
PRESS CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD TODAY AT 1.15PM IN NSW PARLIAMENT HOUSE COURTYARD (LEVEL 9)
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