Poultry Background

In September 2012 the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines Land Transport of Livestock were developed by AHA, followed by the Australian Animal Welfare Standards for Cattle and the Australian Animal Welfare Standards for Sheep in May 2014.

At Animal Welfare Committee (AWC) 5 on 7 March 2013, government members agreed to develop a plan for the conversion of the Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Domestic Poultry (4th Edition 2002) (the Code) into new Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry.

At AWC 6 on 25 June 2013, members agreed to commence a full review of the code in recognition of significant advances in husbandry practices, technology, and in available science, since the current code was endorsed in 2002.

At AWC 8 on 10 December 2013, members agreed in principle that the scope of the review should include topics covered in the current MCOP for Domestic Poultry. Members agreed that the review should include processing and all species such as ducks, turkeys, geese, pheasants, guinea fowl, partridge, quail and pigeons. Each species is to have a small separate section, similar to the current code, dealing with individual requirements for these species.

In December 2013 the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS) and AWC were terminated. A new government committee – Animal Welfare Task Group (AWTG) was formed. AWTG reconfirmed the previous AWC decisions including a budget for the project in May 2015.

Under the previous AAWS, AHA developed standards and guidelines under a member agreed business plan. Government has taken the lead to review the development process. Members also agreed to the appointment of AHA to manage the delivery of the project. NSW DPI was appointed to lead the project in the final endorsed work plan.

The AHA project plan incorporates the AWTG plan and provides further detail on essential elements for members and other stakeholders.