March 6, 2018

Agriculture Minister backs away from ban on caged eggs

Minister for Agriculture Alannah MacTiernan has been forced to back away from her threat to ban the sale of caged eggs in Western Australia.

Shadow Agriculture Minister Ian Blayney said Minister MacTiernan’s announcement today that she would be recommending a 10-year phase out of caged eggs in her submission to the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry was a considerable step back from her earlier position of a possible ban on the sale of caged eggs in Western Australia.

“After initially taking the unreasonable approach of banning all caged eggs the Minister has indicated she will defer to a national approach to caged chickens,” Mr Blayney said.

“Minister MacTiernan has a propensity for impulsive and rushed decision-making and I think even she is now aware that he approach would have imposed heavy and prohibitive costs on the caged egg industry rather than an orderly and fair transition process.

“Regardless of the outcomes of the national guidelines, Minister MacTiernan must consult and engage with industry stakeholders or risk closing down the egg industry in Western Australia.

“If Minister MacTiernan shuts down the egg industry in Western Australia we will see hundreds of jobs lost and caged eggs will be imported from interstate.”

Mr Blayney said the McGowan Government also needed to make a clear commitment to an industry transition fund.

“The McGowan Government is providing significant funding for transitions in the taxi and coal industries so it must articulate how much assistance it will be providing the poultry isector when it makes these significant changes to regulations in their industry,” Mr Blayney said.

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