Tasmania is poised to become the first state in Australia to ban the use of battery cages on chicken farms, ABC reports. Officials from the archipelago, located approximately 150 miles from mainland Australia, announced plans to allocate $2.5 million of the state budget to animal-welfare initiatives, including phasing out the confining cages and accelerating efforts to ban pig gestation crates. The Tasmanian government says the move is a response to consumers’ increased sensitivity to animal-welfare issues. “The demand for locally produced eggs, particularly free range, is growing and the industry acknowledges this change and is eager to work with [the] government on a transition,” says Primary Industries Minister Bryan Green.
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