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GPO Box 2259, Canberra ACT 2601

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Where do our political parties stand on animal protection?

 

In the lead up to the 2019 federal election, the Animal Defenders Office has looked at the main political parties' positions on two key animal protection issues.

To make your vote count for animals, see where the major political players stand on these initiatives:

  1. Banning the export of live animals (for slaughter and breeding)
     

  2. Establishing a national animal welfare body

Please note...
 

​The Animal Defenders Office is not affiliated with any political party.

The table is provided on an information-only basis and was compiled in May 2019.

There are a number of Independent candidates running in the Federal Election. Some may have progressive animal welfare policies. If you have an Independent running in your electorate, you may wish to contact them directly to ask where they stand on these key animal welfare issues.

Federal Election 2019 table.png
 

The Animal Defenders Office is calling for animal protection to be put on the ACT agenda
as the Territory heads towards an election.

 

In September 2016 the Animal Defenders Office wrote to political parties contesting the
2016 ACT Election. We sought their positions on four key ACT animal protection issues.

To make your vote count for animals, see where the major political players stand on these initiatives:

  1. Banning greyhound racing in the ACT

  2. Strengthening animal cruelty and neglect penalties

  3. Suspending kangaroo kills on public land while science is reviewed and alternatives assessed

  4. Acknowledging animals’ sentience in ACT animal welfare legislation

TAKE ACTION

If you want to make animal protection a 2016 ACT Election issue, please tell the leaders of the political parties how important animal welfare issues are to you as a voter, and ask them to commit to each of the above initiatives if elected.

To download a handy flyer with our election scorecard on animal protection issues, click here:

THE ANIMAL PROTECTION ISSUES

When we wrote to all 12 political parties contesting the 2016 ACT Election, we asked each party about the following initiatives:

Greyhound racing ban in the ACT

 

In August 2016 the NSW Government passed the Greyhound Racing Prohibition Act 2016 to phase out greyhound racing in NSW by 1 July 2017.

 

Question: Does your party support a legislative ban on greyhound racing in the ACT?

Increasing penalties for animal cruelty and neglect offences

The ACT has the lowest or second lowest fines and terms of imprisonment for animal cruelty and neglect offences compared to the other Australian States and Territory.

 

Question: Does your party support strengthening maximum penalties for animal cruelty and neglect offences in the ACT?

Suspending kangaroo killing on public land

For the past several years the ACT Government has killed thousands of healthy kangaroos in ACT nature reserves and on other public land. In Animal Liberation ACT v Conservator of Flora and Fauna(1) it was established that these kills have serious negative animal welfare outcomes, particularly for the hundreds of orphaned joeys who die a slow death after being separated from their mother (and primary source of food).

 

Question: Does your party support a moratorium on [ie suspension of] killing kangaroos on ACT public land while the need for the kills in conservation terms is re‑assessed and non-lethal measures explored?

(1) Animal Liberation ACT v Conservator of Flora and Fauna [2014] ACAT 35.

Legislative recognition of the sentience of animals

In 2015 a number of overseas jurisdictions explicitly acknowledged in legislation that animals are sentient beings rather than ‘things’(1).

 

By contrast, no Australian animal welfare law refers to animals as sentient. The ACT should be the first Australian jurisdiction to recognise in law what science and our community have accepted long ago.

 

Question: Does your party support acknowledging in ACT animal welfare law that animals are sentient?(2)

(1) For example on 5 May 2015 the New Zealand Parliament passed the Animal Welfare Amendment Act (No 2) 2015 which recognises ‘that animals are sentient’ (subparagraph (a)(i)).

(2) This could be done by amending the Animal Welfare Act 1992 (ACT) by inserting a new provision, amending section 4A ‘Objects of Act’, or amending the long title of the Act.

Please note...

 

The Animal Defenders Office is not affiliated with any political party.

The above guide is provided on an information-only basis and was compiled on 29 September 2016 and updated on 12 October 2016. The parties are listed alphabetically. Where parties did not respond, we have determined the position based on publicly available statements. If no responses or statements were available the parties have not been included in the table eg Canberra Community Voters, The Flux Party – ACT and VoteCanberra.

There are a number of Independent candidates running in the ACT Election. Some of these Independents may have progressive animal welfare policies. If you have an Independent running in your electorate, you may wish to contact them directly to ask where they stand on these key animal welfare issues.