The Opposition has called on the McGowan Labor Government to clarify how and when new national standards, set to impact the viability and welfare outcomes of poultry farms, will be imposed on local producers.
Shadow Agriculture Minister Colin de Grussa said that if implemented without proper consideration of the specific circumstances of the State’s egg industry, the new standards could severely impact the financial viability of poultry farms.
“The plan to up end caged egg production in just over a decade is a huge challenge for WA egg producers who are already dealing with critical workforce shortages and rising input costs,” Mr de Grussa said.
“Despite a long-term shift away from caged eggs to free range products, there are still a large number of WA families and businesses who rely on caged eggs to provide a cost-effective protein source.
“With the cost of living rising so quickly, the Government must come clean with West Australians on whether it truly understands the price rises and supply challenges which banning caged production would cause.”
Mr de Grussa said greater attention should be paid to ensure WA producers were not lumped with a national system blind to local nuance.
“The McGowan Labor Government needs to be clear about how and when it proposes to transition to the new standards, and how it will ensure they are fit for the WA industry,” Mr de Grussa said.
“WA egg producers are experts in animal husbandry and welfare, and the Government should listen to indsutry in order to ensure the best outcomes for the future of the industry.
“For these producers, 2036 is not far away and while consumers might be able to pick up a dozen eggs any time they like, the farms those eggs come from need to be able to invest with certainty over the long term.
“It is difficult for producers to plan ahead and ensure the viability of their businesses if the McGowan Labor Government is not transparent with them about the future of their industry.”