National Farmers' Federation

Animal welfare the priority for Australia’s farmers

Animal welfare continues to be a very high priority for the Australian farmers who raise and care for livestock, the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has today said.
“Yesterday, the Federal Government released documents relating to possible animal welfare concerns in Australia, under freedom of information laws,” NFF President Jock Laurie said.
“These documents show concerns identified by, or reported to, DAFF from 2009 to 2011.
“Under the animal welfare system in place in Australia, any reported incidents or animal welfare concerns are passed on to the relevant State and Territory Government authorities for investigation.
“As these documents show, the reported incidents were passed on to the appropriate regulatory authority for investigation or action; and that anyone in the supply chain who was found to have acted against animal welfare laws was sanctioned.
“This shows that our system is working,” Mr Laurie said.
“Farmers, like all within the agricultural supply chain, are governed by State and Territory legislation regarding animal welfare – and we take breaches of these laws very seriously.
“Most importantly, we also care about the animals that we raise on our farms. That is why we continue to work proactively and collaboratively with Governments and the community on animal welfare – as we have been doing for many years – ensuring continuous improvements.
“Ensuring that we have a system in place to identify and appropriately act on any potential animal welfare issues is essential. And, as these documents show, this is occurring.
“In addition to State legislation, this system also includes the Model Codes of Practice for the treatment of farm animals, which are being converted into new Standards and Guidelines; ensuring regulations around animal welfare are more consistent across the country.
“Ensuring a national, collaborative approach to animal welfare is one of the reasons the NFF was heavily involved in the development of the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy, along with other agricultural bodies and animal welfare organisations, like the RSPCA.
“We remain an active participant in this process, ensuring our animal welfare practices are continually improved and monitored, and any issues are dealt with accordingly,” Mr Laurie said.

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