The upcoming NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Battery Cage Hens has the potential to open a can of worms, exposing the failures of decades worth of animal welfare science in Australia and resulting in enormous policy and industry repercussions, the Animal Justice Party NSW has said today.
Animal welfare scientist Dr Malcolm Caulfield approached the Party last week to raise concerns that publications likely to be referenced in the Inquiry are based on unreliable evidence and poor scientific practice which has left Australia a laughing stock in the eyes of the international scientific community.
“The majority of Australian research into battery cage hen welfare is quite simply, bad science,” said Dr Malcolm Caulfield.
“Animal welfare science in Australia is lagging far behind the rest of the world. We remain fixated on outdated methods and pseudo-science that does not stand up to scrutiny.
“We cannot continue using corticosterone to measure long term stress in birds, and we cannot continue to rely on the use of antibodies to indirectly measure this hormone. We know it absolutely does not work.
“I am deeply concerned that this so-called research will be used in the upcoming inquiry. It is not only severely misleading, but taking it seriously will put millions of animals’ lives at risk,” said Dr Caulfield.
With hearings beginning in late July, the Inquiry has already reached over 4000 submissions from community members across NSW concerned over the treatment of battery cage hens. The Animal Justice Party however remains concerned that misleading research findings will continue to overshadow community distress regarding the realities of battery cage hen farming.
“It is incredibly important to animals and humans alike that the Inquiry deals only in facts,” said Angela Pollard, Convenor of the Animal Justice Party NSW.
“The NSW community is deeply concerned about the lifelong torture faced by battery cage hens. So far there have over 4000 submissions to the inquiry and this number continues to climb.
“We know that over 11 million hens are imprisoned in battery cages across Australia, and we know that many of them live out their lives in a space no bigger than an A4 sheet of paper. This is inhumane and unacceptable.
“We urge the both the Inquiry and Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall to ensure they show both compassion and discretion when investigating the plight of our battery cage hens here in New South Wales,” said Ms Pollard.
MEDIA CONTACT: ROSINA RAYNS, 0401 991 792
24th JULY 2019