Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced yesterday the Labor Government will introduce a tax on the consumption of hens by foxes.
“By making hen consumption more expensive, this policy will make alternative food sources relatively cheaper,” said Gillard.
From 2015, Australia will have a hen consumption trading scheme, in which foxes will be able to buy and sell rights to eat hens.
The scheme aims to cut hen consumption by 5% by 2020.
“A market mechanism is the most cost-effective way to reduce hen consumption,” said Gillard.
All her economic advisers agreed, rejecting demands by animal rights groups that the market mechanism must be complemented by other measures including fox-proof fences around poultry farms.
“We look forward to working very closely with foxes and other stakeholders over the coming months to ensure we reduce hen consumption at the lowest possible cost and while maintaining the competitiveness of our fox industry,” said Hen Minister Greg Combet.
Reaction from foxes
The pro-hen industry coalition, the Global Organization of Businesses for Bantam Liberation and Emancipation (GOBBLE), cautiously welcomed the announcement.
“We will work with the government to achieve a price on hen consumption, as it is the most cost-effective way of reducing the consumption of hens.” said a spokesperson for GOBBLE, who was previously a senior government adviser. “It’s much cheaper than, say, just banning hen consumption.” Read the rest of this entry ?