Malcolm Caulfield, University of Wollongong, University of Technology Sydney, and The Animal Law Institute speaks about animal welfare law relating to farm animals that involves a review process which is dominated by the animal use industry.
In Australia, the development of animal welfare law relating to farm animals involves a review process which is dominated by the animal use industry. The industry energetically maintains that animal welfare standards should be “guided by science, not emotion.” Industry references to relevant science predominantly rely on studies which measure so-called “stress hormones,” such as cortisol or corticosterone. Conveniently, these measures invariably show that the hormones do not change when animals are exposed to practices which would be expected to be bad for welfare. Examples include housing pregnant sows and battery chickens in cages for most of their lives. This allows industry to claim that these practices are not detrimental. This presentation will debunk this sort of science, using the recent development of welfare standards for egg-laying chickens as an example.