Two sustainability research projects targeting livestock farming have received grants from Australia’s leading independent think tank dedicated to alleviating the suffering of animals.
ISF’s Louise Boronyak with Voiceless co-founder and Director Brian Sherman AM (L) and Voiceless Ambassador Hugo Weaving
Over the past five years, Voiceless has awarded almost $1 million to a broad range of projects across Australia dealing with animal protection issues including factory farming, kangaroo culling, live export, animal experimentation, hunting and animal-based entertainment.
ISF research project coordinator Louise Boronyak said the two projects had received funding from Voiceless totalling $25,000 – one to investigate factory farmed pork, the other – the impact of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme on farm animal welfare.
“This important new relationship with Voiceless will help ensure the interests and wellbeing of animals are not overlooked as ISF tackles pressing issues of environmental, social and economic sustainability,” Ms Boronyak said.
"Over 90 per cent of pork products are sourced from factory farms. Our research will explore how pork producers operate, their size and influence, while also assessing industry drivers and current trends in production and consumption of factory farmed pork.
“We want to gauge how the industry markets the pork, influences public opinion through the media and the ways in which it accesses and influences politicians and policy makers.”
Ms Boronyak said the research could be used to aid the development of strategic campaigns related to factory farming and by exposing key leverage points and opportunities to drive or influence industry reform.
Meanwhile ISF’s second project will tackle understanding implications of the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS). Agriculture is Australia’s second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions with livestock emissions making up 69.3 per cent of the sector’s total emissions. Cattle make up the main source of emissions.
“While this is a small scoping project, it will fill a gap in understanding how the CPRS may impact farm animal welfare, a matter which to date has been largely absent from discussion,” Ms Boronyak said.
“Filling the gap will help guide Voiceless in developing an appropriate position in ongoing debate concerning the CPRS and key actions that arise from it.
I’ts the first time ISF has done research relating to animal welfare in farming and bolsters the work we are already doing in relation to peak phosphorous and sustainable agriculture."