Political Leaders Must Lead on Animal Welfare

RSPCA Australia has called on Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shorten and Richard Di Natale to redress the lack of leadership on animal welfare issues during this election campaign.

The Chair of RSPCA Australia, Gary Humphries, said animal welfare was an important issue for the majority of Australians.

“Our research in April last year revealed that 8 out of 10 Australians want governments to work harder to legislate and regulate for the improved treatment of animals”, Mr Humphries said.

“Australia has been going backwards on animal welfare over the past three years with the dismantling of departmental and administrative structures for animal welfare, the dissolution of advisory committees which provided independent advice to the Government, and the withdrawal of funding for the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy”.

“RSPCA Australia calls on the next Australian Government to reinstate its leadership role in animal welfare and dedicate resources to a new national framework.  The national framework must facilitate independent expert advice to governments, harmonise animal welfare standards across jurisdictions, and coordinate research funding to improve animal welfare outcomes on the ground”.

“This is crucial to improve Australia’s international standing, especially as the Animal Protection Index recently gave Australia a “C” grading, which means our reputation is similar to India and Brazil, and trailing far behind New Zealand and the United Kingdom”.

 “RSPCA Australia is also seeking a commitment from government to work with livestock industries to increase our meat exports and so reduce live exports and to ensure that no cosmetics tested on animals can be manufactured or sold in Australia”.

“Australians care about the welfare of animals and they expect their government representatives to care as well. We’re calling on those representatives to respond to the Australian community, which wants them to lead, legislate and deliver", Mr Humphries said.