Why national leadership on animal welfare should be a priority for the next Australian Government
We’re calling on the Australian Government to make animal welfare a priority in the run-up to the Federal Elections of 2019. RSPCA identified three areas of immediate need. The RSPCA has identified three priority areas that require immediate action.
To protect animals, national leadership is needed to promote continuous improvement and coordination across all states and territories. Unfortunately, this focus and leadership is missing in Australia.
What is the state of play at this time?
In 2013, the Australian Government ceased funding the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy. It also removed the Animal Welfare Branch within the Department of Agriculture and disbanded advisory committees, which provided independent advice to the Government.
In 2014, the Animal Protection Index awarded Australia a “C” grade along with India, Brazil, Malaysia, and the Philippines. This index ranks countries according to their standards and commitments to legislation and policies, as well as the efforts made to educate people and communicate the importance of animal protection.
The RSPCA and other animal welfare groups wrote to the Australian Agriculture and Prime Minister in 2016 to urge them to reestablish their leadership position.
The Productivity Commission’s 2016 report on Australian agricultural regulation recommended the creation of an independent national animal welfare commission. This would coordinate the development of standards at the national level and provide expert advice in the field of animal welfare.
Phillip Moss AM, in a 2018 review, found that the Department of Agriculture was struggling to balance competing roles of protecting animal welfare and promoting live exports. The cuts to animal welfare services made in 2013 also contributed to the culture of neglecting animal welfare obligations.
Why does this matter to the Federal Government?
To achieve consistency in animal welfare within a federal system of Government, national leadership and coordination is required.
It is the responsibility of the Australian Government to represent Australia in international forums on animal rights and to improve its international standing.
What is the future of HTML0?
1. The Australian Government must reclaim its leadership position in the field of animal welfare. It should also dedicate resources to create a new framework that includes a statutory independent body for animal welfare.
2. The framework should facilitate expert advice and input to the Government from a wide range of perspectives. It must also seek to harmonize animal welfare standards between jurisdictions and coordinate research funding in order to improve animal welfare.
3. The government departments that are responsible for developing policies on animal welfare must be free of institutional goals in conflict and have adequate resources and staff with expertise in animal welfare.
What is the position of candidates in your electorate on animal welfare?
We’re asking our supporters to contact their federal representatives and senators to find out where they stand on the issue of animal welfare as we approach the elections. Use our handy contact form to take action now!