Food Production and Animal Welfare Legislation in Australia

What is the impact of food production systems on animals and the environment? In the field of animal welfare and law, the terms corporate responsibility and sustainability are frequently used but the question is, how well are the corporates actually delivering?

This publication traces the rise of corporate domination of farm animal production in Australia as a response to increasing domestic and international demand for meat products and describe the systematic exclusion of State and Territory Animal Welfare Acts to farm animals intended to be processed for food. It illustrates the complexity of Australia’s regulatory framework governing Australian farm animals by taking the poultry industry (chicken meat and eggs) as its study case.
The chapter explores Australia’s highly controversial live animal export industry; its highly visible failures and more recent attempts by the Australian government to introduce traceability and accountability into the live export supply chain.
Attention is then given to the major environmental externalities associated with intensive farm animal operations; identifying the energy inefficiencies associated with raising and processing animals for human consumption. That includes, for example, the contribution of intensive animal farming to atmospheric CO2 emissions as well as the water degradation caused by waste matter runoff. 
The chapter in this publication is purposefully written for the well informed reader, interested in farm animal welfare in the different countries of the world, but who is not necessarily informed about the industry and regulatory framework in Australia.