cows looking for pastures to graze during the Australia bushfires

Animals overlooked in Interim Royal Commission Report


Over one billion animals perished in the bushfire catastrophe; and yet the interim report of over 10,000 words only mentions “wildlife” on three occasions and “stock” once.

The Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Natural Disaster Arrangements doesn’t focus enough on vulnerable animals. 

The report fails to adequately address wildlife and farm animals, especially given the scale of the devastation caused by the bushfires. 

Simone Clarke, Executive Director at World Animal Protection Australia said: 

“Australian animals and their homes are under threat and the current laws are not protecting them. 

“The interim Royal Commission report notes that fundamental reform is needed, and we call on the Federal Government to ensure it happens. 

“World Animal Protection supports the recommendations for new national, state and territory and local level planning arrangements. We welcome the suggestion to include those with expertise in wildlife, stock and animal welfare into the planning process.”  

"World Animal Protection also supports the recommendation that Australian, state and territory governments should work together with relevant non-government organisations to establish national standards and training relevant to emergency wildlife response and recovery.”   

While we welcome these recommendations, we hope to see the Royal Commission make firmer recommendations in its final report. We urge them to support a national disaster plan that includes all animals.  

This national plan should include clear responsibilities and chains of command to reduce confusion and to allow for a rapid response. Finally, we would also like to see the Royal Commission take a strong stand in calling for efforts to limit climate change – one of the root causes of increasingly severe disasters including bushfires.  

A big thank you again to all those who kindly donated and supported our bushfire appeal. We will continue to speak out and demand better protection for all animals from disasters like bushfires. We’ll keep you updated as the review progresses. Thank you. 

Image credit: Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals Media 

The Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Natural Disaster Arrangements doesn’t focus enough on vulnerable animals.

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