Greens candidate for Lismore Sue Higginson along with Greens MP and animal welfare spokesperson Cate Faehrmann have announced a plan to make it mandatory in NSW for livestock to have access to shade.
The initiative includes a $30m support package that will assist farmers with some of the costs of putting in shade structures and planting and fencing off shade trees and shelter belts.
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Currently the Standards and Guidelines for Animal Welfare for Cattle and Sheep, which inform the enforcement of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act in NSW, only require shade to be considered in construction of facilities for livestock.
“As climate change bites and temperatures soar across the state, the Greens are calling for new laws which make it mandatory for livestock to have access to shade during hot weather,” Ms Faehrmann said.
"The reality is that under the current rules farms animals across NSW are currently in paddocks with little to no shade and this is compromising their welfare.
“While the majority of farmers are of course doing their best, it is alarming to see the number of cattle and sheep without cover in extremely hot conditions as you drive through regional areas.”
Ms Higginson said that as a farmer she knows that good animal husbandry is key to farm management.
“Providing shade for livestock is essential to animal welfare and productivity. In hot weather, access to shade is as important for animal welfare as access to water and feed and it is time this was recognised in law.
“This plan is about helping farmers to look after their animals and that is why we have also announced $30 million in transition funding to assist farmers with some of the costs of putting in shade structures and planting and fencing off shade trees and shelter belts.”
The Greens are calling for:
- Legislation to make it mandatory that livestock have access to shade
- $30 million transition package for farmers to receive up to $5000 towards cost of putting in shade structures
- Funding for planting and fencing off shade trees and shelter belts as part of wider Greens plans for funding for revegetation