Poultry Public Consultation

An open public consultation of the proposed draft Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry (S&G) and associated Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) was undertaken for 90 days from 27 November 2017 to 26 February 2018.

Over 167,000 submissions were received, and all submissions have been read. Of these, over 200 were considered substantive or major submissions that addressed the RIS or the draft S&G. A public consultation report has been developed by an independent consultant.

The independent consultant’s report and the major submissions can be found here.

The consultant’s report provides a comprehensive summary of the submissions received during the public consultation. The consultant does not make any recommendations about changes to the S&G. The consultant’s report does, however, identify areas where the drafting group may need to review the technical material provided within the submissions or seek further advice from the Animal Welfare Task Group (AWTG).

It was clear from the overwhelming number and content of submissions that the welfare of poultry in Australia generates considerable public interest and that there is support for improvements in the welfare of commercial poultry. It was also clear that there are significant differences of opinion and interpretation of science about how to ensure good poultry welfare within poultry production systems. Opinions on the options presented in the RIS are correspondingly diverse.

The consultant’s report has been noted by the AWTG. As agreed by the AWTG, the report and major submissions have been made available. The AWTG is not seeking public comment on these documents.

The outcomes of the public consultation submissions and the independent consultant’s report were used to help inform the development of revised S&G by the drafting group under the direction of the AWTG. The drafting group was a small group with expertise in legal and/or standards and guidelines drafting and poultry technical expertise.

Public consultation papers

The documents made available were:

Related documents

Guide to the RIS – frequently asked questions and answers about the RIS.

RIS consultation questions – the RIS included a list of questions which were optional to answer within submissions.

The supporting papers listed below are short reviews of the scientific literature and include a review of national and international policies and positions on eight different welfare topics. They were developed to explain the basis for making decisions about key welfare issues. The papers provide explanations to support the proposed standards but do not make specific recommendations on major issues.

  1. Access to water for ducks
  2. Beak trimming
  3. Induced moulting
  4. Layer hen cages
  5. Lighting
  6. Litter management
  7. Nests, perches and dust bathing
  8. Non-cage housing systems

The consultation process

AHA sought views from all people and organisations interested in the welfare of poultry.

Read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) or watch a short video for more information about the public consultation period.

Views were sought from interested parties about how the:

  • draft Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry will ensure the welfare of poultry
  • associated RIS demonstrates the need for the standards, and identifies alternative options, key costs and benefits for poultry producers, government and the wider community.

Additional reading

Farmed Bird Welfare Science Review

Model Code of Practice for Farming of Ostriches

Model Code of Practice for Husbandry of Captive-Breed Emus

Model Code of Practice for Domestic Poultry

Focused Welfare Review

The welfare of layer hens in cage and cage-free housing systems

Page updated: December 2020