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Minister decides poultry outcome before consultation

The Victorian Minister for Agriculture has been questioned over why her she stated her position on the future of commercial egg production prior to the conclusion of community consultation.

Up until Saturday, Animal Health Australia was accepting public submissions as it develops its Draft Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines (Poultry).

However, Member for Western Victoria, Simon Ramsay, told the Victorian Parliament last week that Minister Jaala Pulford had already made her mind up before listening to the public.

“What is the use of asking people for an opinion when you have already made your mind what you’re going to do anyway”, Mr Ramsay said.

“It is a typical Labor Party charade – pretend you care and consult – and then ignore”.

The Standards and Guidelines review is looking into conventional cage egg farming.

Egg Farmers of Australia has indicated that the public submission process to Animal Health Australia received 100,000 email opposing cage farming.

But Mr Ramsay asked Minister Pulford why her position was clear before all submissions were in.

“Why did she allegedly state to the Western Australian Minister for Agriculture and Food that Victoria’s position was to transition to furnished cages within 10 years?”

Mr Ramsay also questioned the Minister on her stacking of her newly-created office of Animal Welfare Victoria with animal activists.

“Is it not the case Minister that you are pushing for the removal of all caged poultry by setting up an office of animal welfare what will be dominated by animal activists?”

“The Minister was caught out doing slimy deals during the Northcote by-election when she came to decisions about Animal Welfare Victoria without consulting the broader industry.

“It looks like the minister has history here and a modus operandi that kowtows to greens-leftist activism rather than broader industry knowledge and consultation”.

He said the future of farming depends on people with scientific and on-farm knowledge, not people with knowledge on preference deals and politics.

“She hasn’t consulted on AWV and she hasn’t waited for consultation on the Draft poultry document.”