• baby chicks

    Question Without Notice-Live maceration of newly hatched chicks in the egg industry

    Earlier this month an Australian-first investigation by Animal Liberation and Aussie Farms revealed the mass killing of ‘useless’ male chicks and the painful de-beaking of day-old females. This commodification and basis of worth placed on individual sentient beings is inevitable in the animal agriculture industry. The male chicks are seen as ‘wastage’, no different to the wastage in the greyhound industry, the females are a commodity producing machine with an expiry date. In response to this footage, I asked the Minister whether this unnecessary and unjustifiable suffering would be outlawed.

    MARK PEARSON: My question is directed to the Minister for Primary Industries.

    The current egg production regulatory framework allows for the live maceration or gassing to death of millions of newly hatched male chicks as “industry wastage” because they are of no economic benefit to the industry. Gene technology can now differentiate between male and female chicks in the early egg incubation phase, with German researchers soon to release a commercially viable in-ovo sexing test that will result in the destruction of male embryo eggs prior to them developing sensibility and a capacity to feel distress and pain.

    Will the Minister advise when the Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Domestic Poultry will be revised to prohibit the live maceration or gassing of male chicks as an unjustifiable practice?

    The Hon. NIALL BLAIR (Minister for Primary Industries, and Minister for Lands and Water): I thank the member for his question and for highlighting the research the industry is doing and its investment into advancements in chicken sexing in egg production. It is a good example of how our food and fibre primary producers are addressing issues of concern to consumers. They are investing a record amount into research and continuing to look at the innovation and technology available in Australia and around the world for their production processes. We should all be standing up and saying that is exactly what we want to see from a mature primary industries sector in this State. For example, they are investing in better techniques in animal husbandry and, as the member highlighted, in chicken sexing in the egg industry. That is what we ask of our industries.

    My point is that we do not need government to be telling industry what to do. In this case our primary producers are leading the charge and backing up their actions with record amounts of money. They are at the forefront of ensuring they are responsive to some of the issues in their industries. For further information, the industry is funding research by the CSIRO to enable the sexing of chickens in the early development phase in the egg. This will mean that sexing can occur close to point of lay and not require incubating and hatching of male chicks. The industry is doing that in cooperation with the CSIRO, which is a great example of how our primary producers are working within their industries. In some cases they do not need us to come down with a heavy hand and introduce legislation telling them what to do because they are already doing it.

    I have previously spoken in this House about our pork sector. I know the member is concerned about sow stalls. Again, the industry determined that it would voluntarily get rid of sow stalls and more than 70 per cent of the sector has gone down that path. That has not happened because we told them to do it; they were already doing it. They understood the issue and put their money where their mouth is. They are working with all producers to address those issues. I am proud of the primary producers in this State. They understand the issues that concern their consumers. Whether it is mulesing or egg or pork production, our producers are leading the charge. They do not need us to tell them what to do because they are already doing it.

    MARK PEARSON: I ask a supplementary question. Will the Minister please go to the specificity of the question, which relates to when in-ovo chick sexing is available will the Government amend the model code of practice to prohibit the maceration and gassing of male chicks?

    The Hon. NIALL BLAIR: I thank the member for his supplementary question. Without repeating too much of my previous answer, layer chickens are specifically bred for egg production and the male chickens are unsuitable for rearing for meat. Male layer chickens are killed upon hatching and sexing of the chickens at layer hen hatcheries. This is recognised practice in the industry globally. Maceration is a humane method of killing day-old chickens as the chickens are killed instantly. It is recommended in the current national Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Domestic Poultry, fourth edition. The industry is funding research by the CSIRO to enable the sexing of chickens in the early development phase in the egg. This will mean that sexing can occur close to point of lay and not require incubating and hatching of male chicks.

  • Marianne Thieme of the Party for the Animals talks with Mark Pearson of the Animal Justice Party

    Marianne Thieme’s during her visit to Australia as a part of a national animal law lecture series kindly made time to catch up with her Australian counterpart, Mark Pearson.
    Marianne and the success of Part for the Animals has laid the foundation for animals in politics and is a proud supporter of the Animal Justice Party.
    The shift is happening and great positive change is occurring evident by the growth in political parties across the world which focus on an animal protection platform.
    Please excuse the background noise, this was a spur of the moment video post vegan lunch 🙂

     

  • 25/02/2016: Another milestone for animals in NSW Parliament

    So the first week back for the NSW Legislative Council is done and a historic one it has been. On Tuesday, three separate political parties gave notice of bills that will positively affect animals. The Animal Justice Party gave notice of a bill to ban animal research on primates, Greens NSW a bill to create an Independent Animal Protection Authority, and NSW Labor a bill to enable inspectors to remove dogs and cats from animal breeding establishments (puppy farms).

    Please watch my video blog for all the great updates including the Koala Park Sanctuary and dolphin petition.

    Thanks for the support!

  • Mark’s 2015 festive good will message-Thanks for the support.

    A personally wanted to thank all AJP members, volunteers, supporters and those of you that chose for one reason or another to give animals a voice in NSW Parliament.

    Your support for the Animal Justice Party has helped make history. I am honoured to be the first MP to be elected on an animal protection platform and I will continue to be a voice for all those that need it.

    Have a safe and peaceful holiday and where ever you may be spend some time with a non-human animal and share their kindness and love.

    Stay safe,

    Mark and staff.

  • 01/09/2015: Budget Estimate questions to the Health Minister

    AJP’s Mark Pearson raised some eyebrows when he questioned NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner about the effects of intensive farming practices and overuse of antibiotics and the risk to public safety.

    Click below to watch the video.

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