It is a busy time for LC Committees. In addition to the existing 14 standing committees, in June 2019 the House established a select committee to inquire into and report on the use of battery cages for hens in the egg production industry. Today we’re providing an update on the committee’s activities.
The key issue for the egg industry inquiry is whether or not the use of cages for hens is associated with poor animal welfare outcomes or practices. Additionally, the inquiry is looking at potential legislative measures to prevent poor animal welfare outcomes and the protection of consumer interests.
This inquiry has generated considerable attention from stakeholders with 512 submissions published, and around 13,500 pro formas and other submissions received by the committee.
In this Parliament LC Committees are seeing an increase in the use of proforma submissions by stakeholders. Proformas are documents that have the same content (either in full or in part) but are submitted by different authors, usually individuals. If you sign your name to a document that you have not prepared yourself, that has the same content as others, the committee may decide it is a pro forma document rather than a unique submission and publish a copy of the pro forma and note the number of respondents rather than naming each individual.
The text of pro forma submissions received by the egg industry inquiry can be found here.
In addition to the large volume of written evidence, the committee held two hearings and also undertook an inspection of a cage egg production facility to see first-hand what current conventional cage systems involve.
In order to inform debate on the forthcoming Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry due for consideration late this year, the committee has a scheduled reporting date of 31 October 2019.
You can follow the work of the committee on the inquiry webpage.