New research reveals Aussies want strong animal welfare commitments this election
Animal protection is an election priority for many Australians, with more than half (55%) more likely to vote for a candidate that supports the establishment of an independent body to improve animal welfare standards.
The frequency of serious animal welfare scandals over recent years highlights the failure of the current system to protect Australian animals.
A Galaxy survey commissioned by World Animal Protection in March 2016, found 84% of people believe the federal government should set goals for animal welfare and have a plan to meet them. With the majority, 75% of people supporting the re-instatement of a national body focused on improving animal welfare by the federal government.
The research also shows those living in regional and rural areas are just as likely[i] to think the treatment of farm animals can be improved, as their city cousins.
World Animal Protection is calling on politicians to heed community concerns and support an Independent Office of Animal Welfare (IOAW) – a statutory body to champion animal welfare at the federal level.
Nicola Beynon, Head of Campaigns, Australia at World Animal Protection, said, “On behalf of a community who expects better, and 200 million Australian farm animals who deserve better, we are asking politicians to give Australian animals a fair go at the election.”
“The lack of national coordination is out of step with community values, with more than nine in ten Australians considering some common animal production practices unacceptable, including keeping hens in battery cages, using sow stalls, de-beaking chickens without pain relief and puppy farming.
“The system as it stands is not good enough. Australia’s patchwork of animal welfare laws, standards and practices are failing Australian animals and community values, as well as creating reputational risk for industry.”
Australian animals, community expectations and industry needs all suffer under the current lack of leadership. An Independent Office of Animal Welfare would redress the lack of national leadership, facilitate collaboration, and ensure community expectations for animal welfare are met.
An Independent Office of Animal Welfare would restore what was lost in 2013 when the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS) was defunded, and responsibility for coordinating domestic animal welfare was devolved to the states and territories. Currently there is no dedicated section for animal welfare within the federal Department of Agriculture.
World Animal Protection supporters recently delivered a 40,000 strong petition to the Prime Minister.
[i] 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.