It’s the relaxed time of the year when everything slows; so, any significant proclamation from governments can give rise to conspiracy theories that perhaps they are hoping it will slip under the radar.
I am not sure if we are a being paranoid, or adding 2 plus 2 and getting 5 …. but the announcement on 2nd January that the Victorian Government has released Victoria’s first ever “Animal Welfare Action Plan” set of an alarm bell.
The Minister explains that the plan recognises the sentience of animals, reflecting strong evidence that animals experience sensations such as pleasure, comfort, fear and pain.
“The extensive plan covers all animals, including pets, livestock, native animals, aquatic animals, those for research and teaching, and animals in tourism and recreation. The Plan recognises the sentience of animals, reflecting strong evidence that animals experience sensations such as pleasure, comfort, fear and pain” according to the media release.
The action plan will:
Some obvious concerns emerge from this announcement, including wether agricultural pests such as management of wild dogs is included (under this proposal can baiting or trapping be condoned?).
For mainstream agriculture though, the focus should be on current animal welfare and husbandry practices.
Accepted practices such as de-horning, mulesing and castration could all come under intense scrutiny. Will it eventually lead to the requirement that any surgical operation must include pain relief, or may only be performed by a trained practitioner (vetinarian?) Will this spark a new focus on intensive industries such as egg, chicken and pork production and the sentient well-being of these animals?
Change in legislation affecting how farmers operate is not a new concept, DDT and arsenic we...