26 Feb 2014

Australian territory bans sow stalls, battery cages

4:01 pm on 26 February 2014

The Australian Capital Territory has passed legislation banning sow stalls for pigs and battery cages for chickens

While the move has pleased animal welfare groups, some believe the ban is merely symbolic, as there are no factory farms in Canberra.

The ABC reports the new rules prohibit the use of battery cages, sow stalls and debeaking, where the chicken's beak is trimmed to stop cannibalism.

RSPCA policy officer Jed Goodfellow says the move will set a precedent for other states and territories.

"I think it's really the symbolic impact that the ACT's new bill is going to achieve nationally," he says, noting that the Tasmanian Government has foreshadowed similar legislative development.

"So the more states you have coming on board in relation to these legislative developments, the greater the impetus will be for Australia to adopt a national approach to phasing out these forms of farming."

In New Zealand battery hen cages are in the process of being phased out in favour of larger colony cages.

The use of sow stalls has been restricted and the pork industry is managing a phaseout of the stalls by the end of 2015.