ACT’s plan to outlaw factory farming

The ACT could become the first state in Australia to legislate against factory farming, with an animal welfare bill introduced to the Legislative Assembly today.

Greens minister Shane Rattenbury will introduce the bill today, and it's expected to be supported by the Labor-Greens parliamentary agreement, the ABC reports.

Expected to be passed next month, the bill will prohibit the use of battery cages, sow stalls and farrowing crates.

"These are both practices that are considered cruel and for many consumers don't meet modern expectations about how they want their food produced," said Rattenbury, who added that the Greens had been campaigning on the issue for 16 years.

While there are no commercial piggeries or battery hen factories in the ACT, Rattenbury said the legistlation is still necessary.

"If you have clear standards, no one will attempt to come here and set one up," he said.

However, the Egg Council of NSW says the legislation will hurt the industry and force prices up.

Bede Burke from the Egg Council said the industry tries to provide choice for consumers.

"I understand and concur that some people are willing to pay more for free range egg production or barn egg production, but by far and away the larger amount of consumers prefer to get an economical egg."

There's been a lot of attention placed on animal welfare in recent times, with the live exports scandal and inaccurate labelling claims made by brands including Baiada and Luv-a-Duck attracting significant media attention.

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