Nationals Member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland is encouraging farmers, primary producers, and any members of the local community to make a submission to the misguided state government inquiry into the welfare of pigs.
The inquiry into pig welfare in Victoria will accept Submissions until January 12, 2024 and Ms Cleeland said it was imperative that regional voices were not drowned out by radical Melbourne views.
“This is an industry that contributes $488 million to the Victorian economy, supports almost 2700 full-time jobs, and directly supplies our supermarket shelves,” Ms Cleeland said.
“With the views of misguided city-centric ‘activists’ set to dominate the submissions, I am calling on those within the industry to ensure they have their voices heard.”
Ms Cleeland has met with local producers in the past such as the Benalla Abattoirs, who were still recovering from repeated, serious trespassing situations earlier in the year.
“This is another attack on an industry has already been under an enormous stress from trespassing, biosecurity threats, and criminal behaviour, all of which have been allowed to continue by this Labor Government,” Ms Cleeland said.
“I have sat with Colin Sinclair of Benalla Abattoirs, and I learnt firsthand about the personal toll, the emotional toll on staff, and the animal welfare risks that these situations cause.
“You start to understand why 70 per cent of our ham and bacon is actually imported when it becomes impossible to operate in Victoria.
“Benalla Abattoirs contribute a significant amount to the local community, both economically and by putting food on the table for families across the electorate.
“Producers like them deserve to run their business without threats to the biosecurity of their product, as do all the consumers in our region.”
Ms Cleeland said the inquiry would be inviting unwarranted pressure to one of Victoria’s proudest and much-loved industries.
“By supporting this inquiry, the Labor Government is failing one of our proudest industries and all the jobs it supports.
“They are putting the blowtorch on an industry that already relies on peer-reviewed, global scientific research into animal welfare.
“Instead of supporting the sector, this inquiry is inviting activists to provide radical and unverifiable opinions that will then be weaponised to implement restrictions on the industry based on emotions rather than evidence.
“Shutting down the Victorian industry will simply send thousands of Victorian jobs interstate and drive-up costs at the supermarket check-out.
“The Nationals will keep up the fight so we can all continue to enjoy our Christmas ham on the dining room table.”
Submissions to the inquiry can be made at https://new.parliament.vic.gov.au/get-involved/inquiries/inquiry-into-pig-welfare-in-victoria/