In 2013, the Australian government took a major backward step by defunding the national strategy for animal welfare.
A lack of national leadership on animal welfare directly results in animal suffering. It also has an impact on the community and business.
Cruel practices such as the use of sow stalls, battery cages, and body mutilations without pain relief are still legal and common practice.
Even industry groups have lamented the lack of animal welfare frameworks. Mick Keogh, Executive Director of the Australia Farm Institute, referred to the system being ‘disjointed and fragmented’.
For over 18 months, World Animal Protection supporters have been calling on the government to establish an Independent Office of Animal Welfare to remedy this patchwork system. Over 65,000 people have made their voices heard.
Government advised to take action for animals
Earlier this year, our campaign for better Australian animal welfare received a significant boost when the Productivity Commission – an influential advisory body to the federal government – recommended the creation of an Australian Commission for Animal Welfare, a body that would be similar to our Independent Office.
The Australian Commission for Animal Welfare could develop policies and regulations that are science-based, consider animal welfare and include community input. As the Productivity Commission makes clear, this would be a win for animals, consumers and industry.
Yet the government continues to do nothing.
More than ever the animals in our care need a champion in Canberra to drive progress, facilitate collaboration, and ensure community expectations for animal welfare are met. Can you help get us to the table?
With your help, we will win the fight to establish national frameworks for animal welfare and improve the lives of millions of Australian animals.
Sign our petition
Australian animals suffer under the current lack of leadership. The government’s own advisory body, the Productivity Commission, has taken aim at Australia’s patchwork of animal welfare laws and called for an independent national body.
It’s time for the federal government to stop clucking around. Sign our petition urging Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce to establish an Australian Commission for Animal Welfare.
Australians want change for a failing system
The frequency of serious animal welfare scandals over recent years highlights the failure of the current system to protect Australian animals.
At any one time, Australians have in their care 76 million sheep, 29 million cattle, 99 million chickens and 33 million companion animals. It is a responsibility the Australian community feels deeply and expectations for the welfare of these animals is increasing.
A Galaxy survey commissioned by World Animal Protection in 2016 found:
- More than half (55%) of people are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports the establishment of an independent body to improve animal welfare standards.
- Those living in regional and rural areas (70%) are just as likely as capital city residents (73%) to think the treatment of farm animals could be improved.
- The majority (75%) of people support the re-instatement of a national body focused on improving animal welfare by the federal government.
Retailers are responding to the rise of the conscious consumer and starting to market higher welfare produce, a trend that would benefit from government support.