The RSPCA has welcomed reports the Victorian Government will commission its own independent review of poultry welfare science to inform its position on the draft poultry standards.
The decision follows repeated calls by RSPCA Australia for an independent scientific review to inform the new national standards for poultry welfare that are currently being developed.
RSPCA Australia CEO Heather Neil said this was a positive step by the Victorian Government, but that she remains concerned a scientific review to underpin the standards development process itself is yet to be confirmed.
“The decision by the Victorian Government to commission its own review suggests it shares our concerns about the lack of scientific evidence to support the current draft standards,” said Ms Neil.
“This decision further validates the RSPCA’s concerns, and it is clear there are now serious questions hanging over the scientific integrity of these draft standards and the development process,” she said.
“The RSPCA reiterates its calls for the other responsible state government representatives to agree to a full independent review of the relevant science,
“This is the only way to address the serious scientific flaws of the current standards,
“We’re asking again for the standards and guidelines process to be paused so the draft standards can be revised and amended based on the findings of that review, before they are released for public consultation,
“If Australian governments wish to continue promoting the scientific basis of our animal welfare standards, then this needs to occur as a matter of urgency,
“There should be no reason for the battery cage egg industry to oppose such a move unless they’re concerned about what the science will say,” said Ms Neil.
The RSPCA is Australia’s leading animal welfare organisation and one of Australia’s most trusted charities. The RSPCA works to prevent cruelty to animals by actively promoting their care and protection.