Animal Justice Party’s Alison Waters plans battery cage act

A politician has promised to make “life hell” for the next Agricultural Minister if they opt against bringing forward a controversial animal protection law.

Animal Justice Party lead candidate Alison Waters has vowed to live in a cage outside the office of the Agriculture Minister elected in March if they don’t commit to bringing forward the outlawing of battery cages in NSW.

“Living in a battery cage for a week will be hell- but it is nothing compared to the 18 months of imprisonment that each of these hen’s experience,” Ms Waters said.

“Being right outside the minister’s electorate office they won’t miss me – and they won’t be able to keep ignoring what is happening to millions of hens across the country.”

She added she “may even invite the Minister to join me inside the battery cage to experience a life of total confinement themselves”.

A state and territory agriculture ministers meeting will convene in the next few weeks to accept new standards and guidelines in the egg industry that are proposed to see a complete phase out on the use of battery cages by 2036.

The commitment to the phase out in NSW however is still in jeopardy, with parliament documents revealing that in March 2021, former Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall advised that NSW would not support the phase out of battery cages.

“For years Ministers have failed on this mainstream animal protection issue. The system is failing animals. It is failing hens and it is failing the community who expect our laws to protect animals,” Ms Waters said.

“That’s why I’ll be making life hell for the newest Agriculture Minister following the March election – if they don’t commit to bringing forward the date to outlaw battery cages in NSW. 2036 is 13 more years of torture.”

Ms Waters described battery cages as “legalised, institutionalised animal abuse”.

“A battery hen will never see sunshine, never feel wind, never dust bathe. She will never walk, stretch, flap, ruffle, or preen. She will never be given enough room to have the ability to simply turn around,” she said.

About 12 million hens in Australia are currently confined in a battery cage.

“While the rest of the world is moving away from battery cages, Australia is falling woefully behind and our governments cannot continue to ignore this major animal protection issue,” Ms Waters.

“The majority of Australians want to see the use of battery cages outlawed, yet the majority of eggs still come from battery cages in Australia – and NSW is the worst offender.

“My job once elected is to ensure that whoever the new Agriculture Minister is, that they can’t simply ignore the will of the community the protection of animals.”

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Originally published as Animal Justice Party candidate vows to make ‘life hell’ for elected NSW Agriculture Minister

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