Truth in labelling
Voiceless is engaging with government, media and industry to advocate for a legal definition of free range eggs that can be relied upon by consumers.
The legitimacy of free range egg labelling is under threat from Australian Egg Corporation, which plans to allow the label for crowded and inhumane farms. While true free range egg farmers keep around 750 or 1500 hens per hectare, Egg Corp will accredit producers who keep 20,000 birds in the same space - an intensive stocking density that is likely to be stressful for the animals.
In NSW, Voiceless is supporting John Kaye’s Truth in Labelling (Free-range Eggs) Bill 2011 which seeks to legislate a maximum density of 1500 hens per hectare (originally proposed as 750 but since amended as a compromise). The bill has passed the Upper House but will need strong support to pass the Lower House and become law.
Nationally, Voiceless CEO Dana Campbell has been speaking with media to raise public awareness of the situation. She also attended a forum on research and development hosted by Egg Corp, ensuring that animal protection was not overlooked.
Voiceless has made submissions to State and Federal Government expressing its view on the proposed regulatory framework for livestock exports as well as changes to ethics classes in schools.
Voiceless’ position remains that the live export trade be banned due to the inherent cruelty of the industry. While we disagree with the Federal Government’s policy of continuing the trade, it is important that stringent requirements are put in place as part of the new supply chain processes to ensure the highest standard of animal welfare. This position was made clear in our recent submission.
Voiceless also responded to NSW Legislative Council plans to cease special education in ethics as a secular alternative to special religious education at government schools.
Voiceless believes that school education in ethics is vital to ensuring social respect for animal protection in years to come. The current ethics syllabus in NSW encourages children to consider animal rights and “how far our individual moral responsibility should extend and engages students in considering the consequences of certain practices”. Our submission, which strongly argues for the continuation of these lessons.
Voiceless will continue to be active in these areas as they remain under discussion.