Fair Go for farm animals
Each year Australians consume an average of 137 eggs and 107 kilos of meat per person. But it's not often we stopand think where these products have come from. When you think of a farm, images ofanimals grazing in wide open paddocks, sheepdogs, tractors and drovers on horseback come to mind. But in truth,most of Australia's meat and eggs doesn't come from the traditional and idyllic setting. Far from it.
Farming today is big business, and in order to meet demand from here and overseas, intensive methods have been developed that promote high production levels for a lower cost, and therefore, greater profits. Sadly, these profits often come at the cost of the animals' welfare.
Each year, many of Australia's farm animals suffer from inhumane treatment and cruelty most people would consider unacceptable.
Yet, quietly and steadily, these cruel practices - such as battery hen farming, live exports and the use of sow stalls - continue.
They continue because they are not illegal: the RSPCA Inspectors who enforce animal protection legislation cannot prosecute for cruelty to animals, as long as producers are operating within the bounds of the law.
In order to make these practices illegal, Australians must tell their governments - Federal and State - that cruelty to farm animals will not be tolerated by our community.
What does a Fair Go for farm animals mean?
In Australia, we often use the term a 'fair go' to describe how we think people should be treated. Our belief in a fair go is so strong, it's grown to become a part of our national culture. The RSPCA believes that wherever animals are used by humans, they must be treated humanely, compassionately and with consideration.
The phrase 'a fair go' emphasises that the RSPCA does not oppose the farming of animals. We just think they should be given a fair go.
'A Fair Go for Farm Animals'means the RSPCA believes that as long as farm animals are in our care, we have a responsibility to provide for (at least) their basic needs, in accordance with the RSPCA's Five Freedoms.
These basic needs may vary between animals, but can be described in general terms: providing adequate space, food, and water; veterinary treatment when required; shelter from the elements; and the freedom to express some essential natural behaviours. And, if the animal is to be slaughtered, it should be done quickly and humanely.
Some people think that because these animals will eventually die anyway, it's okay to treat them badly. It's not. Or that caring about farm animals means they won't be able to eat meat and eggs anymore. It doesn't.
Animals in Australia's farms don't have a union to represent them - they have no way to argue for fair treatment or better conditions.
Together with the RSPCA, you can be the voice that demands farm animals be given a FAIR GO. Please visit the RSPCA website below, add your name to the petition and give a voice to animals in need.