Australia’s pork industry has spoken out against red tape.

In response to the Productivity Commission’s draft report into agricultural red tape, Australian Pork Limited CEO, Andrew Spencer, has criticised regulatory complexity for failing to prevent attacks on the industry by animal rights activists.

Mr. Spencer stated that:

‘We have many farms, pig farmers, either living under the constant threat of a raid in the dead of night, of some of them being continually harassed through social media and threatened with such raids.’

‘It’s completely unfair because they’re performing completely legal operations and running them really professionally according to best practice and their animals are really well looked after.’

He also spoke of the danger of political activist raids on pig farms in terms of spreading disease, as activists were entering farming premises without biosecurity clearances.

To address this, Mr. Spencer supported the standardisation of animal welfare laws between the states, which he argued would enable biosecurity laws to be enforced more consistently.

President of the Cattle Council of Australia, Howard Smith, also called for greater regulatory clarity, stating that:

‘The recognition of Livestock Production Assurance as a compliance mechanism would not only ensure compliance with animal welfare standards but reduce red tape for producers and help them get on with putting food on our tables.’

These recommendations are consistent with recent IPA research into agricultural regulation, which found that regulation often inhibited productive farming activities and undermined the property rights of farmers.

By Michael Husek