Government think tank recommends national body for animal welfare – a crucial new opportunity

26/07/2016

World Animal Protection supporters have joined with us to mount a strong campaign for an Independent Office of Animal Welfare. Thanks to them we are being heard! The petitions, letters and reports have opened up a crucial new opportunity to make our case for a better life for animals.

"We want to offer an educational tool that will help inform people about this issue and create a wider movement of people seeking change for the oceans and the animals that live in them"

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. This could be a turning point in the campaign! But it’s only a draft recommendation and it will face opposition. 

Australian animals still need your support.

The Commission’s recommendation for an independent national body for animal welfare comes in a huge draft report for the regulation of all Australian agriculture.  In making their recommendation, the Commission recognises there are ‘concerns that animal welfare regulations are not meeting community expectations about the humane treatment of farm animals’. These are concerns World Animal Protection supporters have been raising and need to keep raising.

The Commission is now seeking public comments until 18 August 2016. The Productivity Commission is influential on government and they are talking about an independent national body for animal welfare thanks to World Animal Protection supporters.  

Our proposal is for an independent statutory office to be a ‘centre of excellence’ for animal welfare to drive progress in standards across the country to give animals a better future.

Thanks to our supporters banding together and sending thousands of letters to local MPs, several political parties supported an Independent Office at the recent federal election. This included the Australian Labor Party, but not the Coalition government who have been returned to office.

The Productivity Commission has opened up the debate. This gives us another chance to put the case forward to the government through a voice they do listen to. Aussie animals need you now more than ever.

Tell the Productivity Commission you support a statutory Independent Office of Animal Welfare with a mandate to achieve excellence in animal welfare. It will only take a couple of minutes. You can copy and paste our suggested words below and personalise it if you wish.

Suggested wording for your submission:

"Dear Commissioners,



The Australian community expects animals involved in farming to be treated with compassion and protected from cruel practices.

I wish to lend my support to recommendations 5.1 and 5.2 in the draft report seeking to provide national independent frameworks for animal welfare. I recommend this body is a statutory Independent Office of Animal Welfare (IOAW) which would:

  • Have a mandate to achieve excellence in animal welfare.
  • Facilitate balanced consultation between all stakeholders on nationally consistent, evidence based standards to protect animals from cruelty and promote good animal welfare.
  • Meet the expectations of the public and consumers with regard to animal welfare standards.
  • Safeguard Australia’s reputation and investment opportunities, by meeting international benchmarks for animal welfare.
  • Reduce poor animal welfare incidences by taking a proactive, instead of reactive approach to animal welfare.
  • Be staffed by policy, law & community consultation experts, and guided by a balanced advisory committee, with strong animal welfare expertise.

The establishment of a national body for animal welfare has broad community support. Galaxy polling undertaken by World Animal Protection in early 2016 found;

  • 75% of people support the re-establishment of a national body focusing on animal welfare.
  • 84% believe the federal government should set goals for animal welfare and have a plan to achieve them.
  • A clear majority of Australian believe farm animals could be treated better, both city residents (73%) and rural and regional people (70%) alike.

Horrific footage of animals involved in the live export trade continue to shock the Australians. The draft report discusses the difficulty in assessing community expectations related to animal welfare. It is safe to say the community expects better than this.

Sincerely,'

Update

Thank you to all who sent their submissions. This review has now closed and you can read the final report from the Productivity Commission on their website. It's important to maintain pressure on the government to act to protect animals. 

You can read World Animal Protection’s full proposal for an Independent Office of Animal Welfare.

Thank you for standing up for animals.