AL Challenges the Animal Welfare League

Banner Chicken


SYDNEY, 25 September 2019: Animal Liberation, an Australian animal rights group dedicated to permanently improving the lives of animals, has challenged Animal Welfare League Australia (AWL) to come clean with the public over alleged AWL shelter practices where the welfare of vulnerable animals may be compromised.

Animal Liberation spokesperson Alex Vince confirmed, “we have received reliable information which raises serious concerns about AWL QLD animal shelter re-homing practices. Some chickens who find themselves at AWL QLD shelters are being given away to a local produce store and face a dubious and uncertain future. This includes individual birds previously housed at an AWL shelter being available to buy for breeding and human consumption. When inquiries were made with the produce store about the practice of “de-beaking,” we were advised that some people who purchase the birds do this with an instrument usually used to cut dogs nails. It’s cruelty, plain and simple. We have communicated our obvious concerns to AWL Australia and have asked if such re-homing practices are widespread across AWL shelters. We have not yet received a response”.

“Many Council impounding facilities and other animal shelters impound and house a variety of animal species. These often include animals commonly farmed for food, like poultry, sheep, goats and pigs, in addition to companion animals. While the housing conditions in some facilities is suitable for companion animals, it is not always ideal for farmed animals. They invariably do not receive the same priority of care or welfare and protection. Many are sent to local saleyards for auction and subsequent slaughter.”

“The recent federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources report, Australia’s Shifting Mindset on Farm Animal Welfare, concluded that the overwhelming majority of Aussies care strongly about the welfare of all animals, including farmed animals. Many no longer have confidence or trust in those agencies or individuals responsible for enforcing our already inadequate animal protection legislation. The public rightfully expect our leading animal welfare agencies, who also receive some government funding, to lead by example. This must be in line with the expectations of the public and their own members because, after all, the welfare of all animals is our collective responsibility. This only makes the recent federal government introduction of ag-gag laws like the Commonwealth’s Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill 2019 all the more offensive. It confirms why the public is increasingly demanding the establishment of an Independent Office of Animal Welfare and for animal cruelty cases to be covered by the police instead of the industry current regimes protect”.

The AWL publicly claim that they ‘create, uphold and encourage the highest standards of care, health and welfare for pets in our community’. Yet they appear to be failing to uphold their own charter with their own practices and are blatantly ignoring the intent of the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001. Under this Act, any deliberate mutilation of any animal is cruel. 

“It is abhorrent and strongly opposed by Animal Liberation” said Lynda Stoner, the organisation’s Chief Executive. “That questionable re-homing practices would be undertaken by a publicly funded animal welfare organisation where animals are placed in harm’s way is a serious concern we expect to be investigated promptly and thoroughly”. 

As the longest-running animal rights organisation in the world, Ms Stoner confirmed that Animal Liberation lodged a comprehensive submission to the current NSW Legislative Council Select Committee on the Use of Battery Cages for Hens in the Egg Production Industry, and is confident there will be a strong public response to the NSW Legislative Council Select Committee on Animal Cruelty Laws in New South Wales, expected to commence in late October.

“Our own Animal Liberation Cruelty Hotline confirms the level of public frustration and distress when seeking urgent attention, protection and justice for vulnerable animals. They call us because the animal protection laws, the welfare agencies and the systems and services continue to fail not only these animals, but also the public who fund these agencies and services”. 


Contact: Lisa Ryan | (02) 9262 3221 

Chickens at AWL
Chickens at AWL