Page 6 - National Poultry Newspaper
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Trespassing punishment must fit the crime
Egg industry continues to build trust
A NEW report from Australia’s national science agency CSIRO reveals that trust in the nation’s egg industry has again increased this year, indicating how the sector con- tinues to emerge as a leader in community confidence.
percent in 2018.
In 2020, 69.2 percent
proving trust ratings over time.”
trust, the 2020 data con- tinues a positive trend for the egg industry, in- dependent of the effects of the pandemic.”
Across all measures trust has risen an aver- age of 4 percent each year from the baseline 2018 national survey, with more than 6 in 10 Australians in 2020 say- ing they trust the egg industry to act respon- sibly (64.2 percent) and do what is right (62.8 percent).
CSIRO senior research scientist Dr Kieren Mof- fat said, “In 2018, Aus- tralian Eggs engaged the CSIRO to bring the voice of the Austral- ian community into the heart of the Australian egg industry.”
This year, the timing of the survey coincided with one of the most challenging events for our country and the world, the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know the role of eggs in the diet is im- portant, with 85 percent of Australians relying on eggs as an important staple food, but commu- nity members are also very invested in how safe those eggs are,” Mr McMonnies said.
More than half (57.3 percent) of the 5008 Australians surveyed said they trust the in- dustry to act in the best interests of society.
“Over the subsequent three years, we have conducted a comprehen- sive annual national sur- vey of Australian com- munity perspectives on a range of issues related to the egg industry.
Data collection oc- curred between April and May and offered an opportunity to take ac- count of and document the impacts of the pan- demic on community at- titudes towards the egg industry.
The research found Australians felt egg production standards re- main high in the country, with 86 percent agreeing that eggs produced in Australia adhere to strict food safety standards, and 84 percent agreeing that the response of the nation’s egg industry to outbreaks of salmonella are effective in protect- ing public health.
Moreover, the average level of trust of 3.72 is higher relative to trust levels across Australia’s rural industries sector overall (3.42).
“Chief among these was to determine if changes observed be- tween 2018 and 2019 continued in the same direction through 2020.
The main driver of con- fidence in the egg sector was its responsiveness to community concerns, which has significantly improved year on year from 2018 to 2020.
“In 2020, the key find- ing from our work was that trust and accept- ance in the Australian egg industry improved significantly once again, making that a consistent and statistically signifi- cant trend over time.”
“The Australian egg industry is extremely proactive in working with authorities to en- sure there are strong food safety and biosecu- rity measures in place.
Responsiveness rat- ings of the industry rose again, with 69 percent of Australians agree- ing that the nation’s egg industry is prepared to change its practices in response to community concerns, up from 64.4 percent in 2019 and 61.4
Australian Eggs man- aging director Rowan McMonnies said, “It’s great to see that the egg industry’s respon- siveness to community priorities is valued by Australians and is im-
“It’s clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased communi- ty awareness of the im- portance of food safety and security in Austral- ia,” Dr Moffat said.
“It’s good to see Aus- tralians recognise the ef- forts of the egg industry to prioritise their safety,” Mr McMonnies said.
of Australians also agreed that the sector listens to and respects community opinions, up from 62.7 percent in 2019 and 61.5 percent in 2018.
“The CSIRO has deliv- ered a recipe for success and the industry has re- sponded with tangible solutions that reflect priorities identified by the community,” Mr McMonnies said.
This new research shows that for Austral- ians, providing safe, nu- tritious, affordable and secure food staples such as eggs is more impor- tant than ever.
“The 2020 data was important for several reasons.
According to the re- search 3 in 4 (75.8 per- cent) Australians said the COVID-19 pandem- ic had made them more aware of the importance of food security in Aus- tralia, with 4 in 5 agree- ing that producing eggs for Australia is an es- sential service (86.2 per- cent) and that ‘having a safe, reliable supply of eggs was comforting’ during the pandemic (80.5 percent).
“But what we can also see is that on key meas- ures like community
For more informa- tion and to read the full report, visit australi
IN recent years, Queens- land United Egg Pro- ducers have experienced ongoing coordinated activist attacks, despite adhering to world- leading animal welfare standards.
These activists’ radical and unjustified actions invade farmers’ privacy, threaten the welfare of their animals and crops, pose unacceptable risks to their businesses and have implications for food security.
cessing facility in Pitts- worth and, with the current global pandemic, the risks are even more serious for farmers, their families and their workers.
welfare, workplace health and safety, and business disruption – is unaccep- table.
The constant threat of being targeted hinders farmers’ abilities to oper- ate their businesses to pro- duce the highest quality food, fibre and foliage.
At a time when Queens- land producers are strug- gling to remain produc- tive and profitable, fur- ther repercussions associ- ated with a biosecurity outbreak – be it plant, animal or human with COVID-19 – would be debilitating.
If the newly introduced penalties do not ade- quately deter and penal- ise unlawful entry, gov- ernments must find a way to prevent the trespass offences to begin with, as well as a punishment to fit the seriousness of the crime.
In response to the ex- treme and disruptive ac- tions of activists, the fed- eral and Queensland gov- ernments legislated more appropriate punishments for these actions.
At federal government level, the action of pub- lishing material via a car- riage service, with the in- tention to incite trespass, property damage and theft on agricultural land has been criminalised.
QUEP recognises and respects the right of in- dividuals and groups to meet and engage in peaceful protest to pursue common goals.
QUEP continues to work with Queensland government departments and Safe Food Production Queensland, establishing guidelines and protocols to limit a business’ expo- sure to the impacts of a positive COVID-19 case in a work environment.
While in Queensland, protesters unlawfully en- tering farmland now face up to one year in jail or a fine of more than $60,000.
Animal welfare and lib- eration movements have been in Australia for a long time and in many cases have created posi- tive change.
For more information, visit Workforce shortages
Producers are urged to review trespass and bios- ecurity plans, to support convictions of persons breaching these laws.
However, there has been a disturbing change in the behaviour of ani- mal rights groups pursu- ing their cause in recent times.
Assistance has been provided to the industry on overseas worker avail- ability, ensuring both state and federal govern- ments understand the dire situation many farms are facing in not being able to take on new or replace- ment personnel for their workforce.
Despite additional pen- alties, in September an activist group invaded a piggery near an egg pro-
Tormenting law-abiding farmers and their fami- lies – together with in- creased risk to biosecu- rity, food safety, animal
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Page 6 – National Poultry Newspaper, October 2020

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