In a recent bit of press coverage, the ACT Government made the most of a deal with Pace Farms to end battery cage egg production at Parkwood Egg Farm, Macgregor. Following two decades of work by animal rights activists and numerous confronting images and videos, the Government and the Greens have lauded the agreement as an end to a barbaric practice. However, though they have welcomed the agreement, Animal Liberation ACT have been quick to point out that no legislative ban on battery cages has been enacted, nor has any basic standard of treatment been set by which Pace Farms must abide as they transition to barn housing.
As Animal Liberation ACT President, Lara Drew, commented, “Welfare conditions in barn housing are only slightly less appalling than in batteries… [W]e are disappointed that the ACT Government has agreed to Parkwood converting to another intensive system, and has, as yet, still made no commitment to a legislative ban of the cage.” Though acknowledging that the recent agreement is a positive step, Drew underscored the ongoing nature of the problem. “It is not enough to do deals with egg producers. The Government has a responsibility to ensure that animals are protected from cruelty and neglect.” Whether public sentiment subsides or escalates will remain to be seen.