ACT bans factory farming practices

Pig pic

In a legislative first, the ACT House of Assembly last night banned battery hens, debeaking and sow stalls.

The ACT has no factory farms, but the enactment provides a national legislative precedent and a moral beacon for other parliaments to follow.

Tasmania’s government flagged in 2012 that it would phase out such practices but failed to do so.

ACT Greens MP Dr Deb Foskey in 2007 introduced a Bill to ban battery hen egg production, and in doing so sought the Panel’s legal advice on whether the Bill if enacted would be valid. A copy of the Advice dated 23 May 2007 may be found at our ‘ intensive animal production ‘ section of our website, which concluded the Bill if enacted would be valid. It was later made available to all members of the then ACT government, and later to those pushing for a similar Bill in Tasmania. The ACT government in 2007 failed to support Dr Foskey’s Bill, instead opting for industry assistance measures announced by the then ACT Chief Minister, John Stanhope on 25 September 2007 to transition Pace Farms as the only ACT producer from battery hen egg production to a barn laid system. The opportunity to set a national legislative precent was thus circumvented, but now the ACT has finally set the precedent in any event and done so by including a ban on sow stalls.

The Canberra Times report may be viewed here.