Animal welfare is not just about dairy farmers doing the right thing

“If not appropriately handled, animal welfare concerns could threaten the long-term viability of several livestock industries. Even though the industries operate within their legislated requirements, there is a real risk they could lose public acceptance.”

This excerpt reportedly from a brief by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Department for the incoming Minister Ludwig makes sense. Farmers don’t have a monopoly on caring about animals and everyone has a right to feel comfortable that the food they’re eating is ethical. At the moment, much of that is based on trust that we farmers will do the right thing but when that trust is sufficiently shaken, Aussies will understandably demand that we are made to do the right thing.

In the wake of the Indonesian cruelty revelations, who could blame urban Australians for asking more questions about animal welfare, whether at the abattoir on the farm? Rather than being defensive about farming practices, I think it’s time to open the “farm gates” and show everyone what really goes on so they can judge how we are doing for themselves.