Australia, Demand an Independent Office of Animal Welfare
Since the dismantling of Federal Government leadership on animal welfare issues in 2013, there has been a growing black hole into which animals disappear in policy, practice, and protection. In Australia, millions of animals are effectively abandoned by our laws – now it’s time to reignite our call to outlaw animal cruelty with an Independent Office of Animal Welfare.
For too long, animals in Australia have been subjected to outrageous acts of cruelty whilst those responsible remain guarded by laws that effectively excuse them of a crime. When the Federal Government demobilised the only avenues to stem the suffering, withdrew funding and palmed off responsibility for animal welfare on states and territories, animals in Australia were forsaken in our legislation. At the same time, every initiative designed to facilitate animal protection was discontinued.
As a result, animal protection in Australia is administered by state and territories, primarily by departments of agriculture or their corresponding equivalent. This means that the authorities responsible for the promotion of primary industries, including factory farms, and their ongoing profitability, is simultaneously the body expected to provide protection to animals. For example, the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is expected to simultaneously “increase the value,” “drive economic growth” and manage animal welfare outcomes associated with primary industries.
This structural conflict of interest is unacceptable and reveals the inexcusable inadequacies in Australian animal welfare law. Lacking a national framework to fight cruelty, Australia looks like hell on earth for animals.
They need us now. And we need our laws to reflect the protection we expect them to be given. Demand the Australian government actively work to stamp out animal cruelty by signing the petition calling for the establishment of a national Independent Office of Animal Welfare.