Animal Welfare and Rights

There is growing public support for animal welfare to be part of our approach to all animals – companion, domestic and wild.

End live exports. No cruel cosmetics. Free range eggs.

There is overwhelming public demand for humane and accountable treatment of animals. Yet governments continue to sanction cruelty by refusing to change woefully inadequate minimum animal welfare standards and make industry transparent and accountable.

The Greens are the only federal parliamentary party to have a specific portfolio responsibility for animal welfare. We are deeply committed to improving the welfare and wellbeing of animals, and will continue working with Australia's animal welfare and rights organisations to achieve this.

Our Plan

Animal welfare in Australia relies on a patchwork of state/territory legislation and industry Codes of Practice and Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines that institutionalise cruel industry practices.

Under the constitution, state governments have primary responsibility to prepare and enforce animal welfare laws, policies and programs. Local government oversees the responsible ownership of domestic animals.

Federal oversight of animal welfare occurs when animals are imported or exported, such as the live animal export trade or the kangaroo meat and skin trade.

The Greens are working to:

  • Establish an Independent Office of Animal Welfare (IOAW)
  • End the horrific live export trade by increasing processing in Australia to support local producers and create local jobs
  • Ban cruel cosmetics
  • Establish an accurate national labelling system of products that identifies cruelty-free, free-range, organic, and free from content derived from habitat destruction.
  • Upgrade standards for farming practices for all agricultural animals which reflect commonly understood definitions of free-range and other ethical treatment of animals.

Independent Office of Animal Welfare (IOAW)

With continuing cruelty endured by animals in factory farms and within the live export chain, and the suffering of animals across Australia under practices that confirm and excuse animal cruelty, the need for a national independent office of animal welfare is clear.
The Greens' Voice for Animals (Independent Office of Animal Welfare) Bill was reintroduced into the parliament to establish an Independent Office of Animal Welfare (IOAW) to promote and oversee animal welfare.

The office will be independent of government and the Department of Agriculture to ensure conflicts of interest that compromise animal welfare over profit-making are removed. It will be guided by the advice of an Animal Welfare Advisory Committee including experts in animal welfare, consumer groups, scientists and ethicists. The IOAW will also work to harmonise and improve animal welfare laws across the country.

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