Public consultation for the draft Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines ran from 7th March through until 5 August 2013 and have now closed. Over 33,000 individual submissions were received during the public consultation period.
All major issues will be collated in a review document which will be available from the Animal Welfare Standards website in the coming months. At this stage, the standards will be submitted to the Primary Industries Ministerial Council for final endorsement in April 2014.
The development of national animal welfare standards is a fantastic opportunity to do great things for the welfare of Australian farm animals, but if we accept the Standards in their current form, it will be a lost opportunity to make a real difference to the welfare of sheep and cattle on farm.
Rather than improving animal welfare, the draft Standards will simply allow many poor practices to continue.