PUBLIC interest lawyer and farmer Sue Higginson has been selected as the Greens candidate for Lismore.
PUBLIC interest lawyer and farmer Sue Higginson has been selected as the Greens candidate for Lismore. Julian Meehan

'Animals must have shade'

WITH hot temperatures expected to continue well into February, the Greens have aired their plans to make shade mandatory for farm animals.

Greens MP and Animal Welfare spokesperson Cate Faehrmann and Greens candidate for Lismore Sue Higginson last week announced the 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.

As part of the plan, 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 $5,000 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.

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.

Ms Faehrmann said "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.

"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 "As a farmer I know 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.”