AFSA and our partners recently negotiated a streamlined application process for pastured pig and poultry production… however, during the final stages in planning and negotiation, state administrators suddenly removed non-chicken poultry–ducks, quail, turkey, squab….from the proposed streamline application process on the basis of “biosecurity” concerns.

AFSA commissioned a report by Robert G. Wallace, PhD to unpack the presumptions underlying removing non-chicken poultry. Wallace asks, “What are the reasons? Are they legitimate? Do such decision trees represent something other than scientific criteria? Are alternative policy positions possible?”

“Does the discrepancy between how industrial and regenerative farmers are regulated depend on the political power by which agribusiness is able to impose the worst social costs of production upon Australian states and its citizens with little consequence (Halpin and Martin 1999, Dibden and Cocklin 2007)? Does that power include a kind of gaslighting out of a moral economy of agribusiness’s control, forcing smallholders to carry the load (and blame) for biosecurity problems little of their making and emerging at scales far greater in industrial production (East 2007, Bryant and Garnham 2014, Moyle et al. 2016)? It increasingly appears that the largely unfounded notion wild waterfowl and pasture poultry in Australia represent inherent gateways through which industrial poultry production is placed at risk is presently a global go-to fallacy, deployed across multiple countries internationally, and aimed at redirecting attention away from intensive production’s role in driving the evolution and spread of newly emergent disease (Engering et al. 2013, Wallace 2016b, 2017).”

Read the whole report here: Wallace Duck and Cover Report September 2018.