VFF invite Greens leaders to see “real farming” 
Tuesday 16 September, 2014 

THE Victorian Farmers Federation rejects claims made by the Greens Party today that intensive farming production systems are “cruel”.  

VFF members have extended an invitation to Greens MPs to visit their caged-egg, pig and chicken meat farms to demonstrate the high standards of animal welfare. 

“We are world leaders when it comes to animal welfare and we open our farm gates to the Greens to see what a ‘real’ farm is like,” Mr Ahmed said.  

“I’d welcome any Greens MP onto my farm to see that my hens are healthy and well looked after,” VFF Egg Group president Brian Ahmed said. 

“I’m disappointed the Greens are trying to outlaw the good farming practises that I and others use to deliver clean affordable food to all Australians.” 

Today the Greens announced they would introduce a bill to Parliament that would ban caged hens and sow stalls in piggeries. 

“VFF Pig Group president John Bourke said the reality was “Australian farmers are phasing out sow stalls, while imported pork was still being sold on the shelves of Australian supermarkets from countries that use sow stalls.” 

“Australian Pig producers have already committed to go sow stall free by 2017, unlike much of the imported pork products.

“The Greens have failed to mention just how advanced Australia really is in animal welfare. 

“Australia was in fact the first nation in the world to voluntarily phase out sow stalls,” Mr Bourke said. 

“Since the voluntary phase out of gestation stalls three years ago, more than 65 per cent of Australian producers are sow stall free and well on track to meet our 2017 target.” 

In regards to the Greens claim that “caged egg production is cruel”, Mr Ahmed said “nothing could be further from the truth.” 

Australian research has also shown there is no difference in the stress levels between caged, barn and free-range hens.

Mr Ahmed said caged hens:
Had lower mortality rates
Less risk of contracting diseases, such as avian influenza
Produce Cleaner eggs
And lay a more affordable egg
“The Greens do not have the right to take away consumer’s right to choose the eggs they can afford,” Mr Ahmed said.  

Recently, Victorian farmers applauded Premier Denis Napthine’s decision to support consumer choice when it comes to being able to buy caged, barn and free range eggs.

“It’s great to see the Premier recognises that Victorian egg producers are here to give consumers choice, which is a right we should all enjoy,” Mr Ahmed said.  

Media Contacts:
Brian Ahmed, VFF Eggs Group President             0412 558 152
John Bourke, VFF Pig Group President                0419 552 768
Tom Whitty, VFF Media Manager                          0417 165 784