Animal Welfare

The Tasmanian Greens believe that animals are sentient beings, capable of feeling and able to apprehend suffering. They have identifiable rights, and humans have the responsibility to protect these rights.

The Tasmanian Greens believe that animals are sentient beings, capable of feeling and able to apprehend suffering. They have identifiable rights, and humans have the responsibility to protect these rights. When under the care and protection of people, their welfare becomes a legal obligation to minimise the physical, psychological and emotional suffering of animals, and to optimise their quality of life.

Animals and animal products are used by Tasmanians for the purposes of companionship, work, recreation, exhibition, sport, entertainment, trade, clothing, research and food. All these uses should be subject to strict legal constraints and all cruelty and neglect towards animals, whether by commission or omission, must attract penalties sufficient to act as a strong deterrent.

To varying degrees, most domesticated animals in Tasmania are confined to farms for the purposes of breeding or eventual processing for different forms of consumption. Meat and wool are the predominant forms in Tasmania, with live transport and export of by-products for downstream production also widespread. Extreme confinement or mistreatment for any of these purposes is unacceptable and all forms of confinement and treatment must be subject to legislation or regulation that sets rigorous minimum standards. Environmental damage caused by industries which use animals or animal products must be minimised.

All native wildlife must be treated humanely and protected in a way that allows maximum freedom from interference to ensure their individual wellbeing and species viability. Their natural habitats must be restored, protected and maintained. Native and endemic wildlife should not be held in captivity for any reason except for their safety, safe transport, protection, or the maintenance of a viable breeding stock, and only with the appropriate wildlife permit.

No animal or bird should be trained to be aggressive towards humans or other animals, or pitted against one another, or be kept with such an intention.

The keeping of animals for companionship should be regulated to provide their maximum safety and wellbeing. Cat and dog over-population must be controlled to minimise the potential for feral number increase, and to limit their predation of native species.

The ethics regarding working animals must be regulated through legislation and no animals should be kept or used for any purpose for which it is biologically and behaviourally unsuited.

The Tasmanian Greens recognise the link between acts of animal cruelty or neglect, and violence towards other people. We believe strong and effective animal welfare legislation, with primary prevention through education and community engagement, is key to preventing and ultimately, ending, animal cruelty and neglect.

Measures

Law

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. a stronger legislative and regulatory framework that ensures all animals are provided with adequate water, food, proper handling, health care and an environment appropriate to their welfare, in consideration of their biology and behaviour;

  2. regulating standards of care that minimise fear, pain, stress, and suffering;

  3. banning the transport overseas of live ruminants for consumption;

  4. supporting maintenance of chain of custody responsibilities in sale and transport of animals;

  5. better protecting the welfare of agricultural animals, including applying conditions of holding and transport;

  6. legislating for animal cruelty to be a serious criminal offence.

Primary Industry

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. promoting recognition that animal welfare is paramount to the Tasmanian brand and should be prioritised to a consistent standard across all agriculture and aquaculture sectors;

  2. promoting practices which incorporate the most effective methods of animal care;

  3. promoting compatible farming practices which advantage domestic animals as well as native species and their habitats;

  4. banning battery production in agriculture;

  5. identifing transport and handling systems which provide the maximum protection of animals;

  6. calling for state-federal negotiations to set national standards for free-range farming practices.

Education

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. introducing programs which foster understanding of the human relationship with animals, our interdependence with them, and our responsibilities in regard to them;

  2. providing education on best methods of housing and transporting animals;

  3. promoting recognition and appreciation of the value of Tasmania’s school farms;

  4. promoting the practice of observing wildlife in its natural habitat.

Aboriginal Culture

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. consulting Aboriginal people on the formation of policy relating to the management and care of native species.

State Forests, Coastal and Marine Reserves

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. banning recreational hunting in all protected areas and formal reserves;

  2. ensuring no commercial fishing in designated marine reserves;

  3. supporting an absolute ban on whaling in Tasmanian waters and provide no support to the international whaling industry.

Product Labelling

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. introducing the labelling of products to list whether they are cruelty free, contain animal ingredients and their derivation, method of production and any animal experimentation or testing methods used in that production.

Animal Care

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. advertising both the legal requirements and the most ethical means of treating animals;

  2. ending all practices that inflict unreasonable or unnecessary suffering;

  3. ending the use of electrical driving devices on all species;

  4. banning the import and export of animals for zoos or parks except where it assists with their conservation;

  5. banning all domestic factory farming, such as puppy farms and move to a formal, registered cat and dog breeding regime;

  6. banning the animal activities associated with rodeos, including calf roping, and bull riding;

  7. establishing certification and guidelines for animal care and management in commercial operations, including zoos.

Research

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. supporting research which identifies the most appropriate treatment of animals;

  2. ending cruel, unethical or unnecessary animal experimentation at state level;

  3. supporting national initiatives to ban the use of animals as experimental objects in military and industrial research, and in cosmetics testing;

  4. banning genetic engineering of animals, and all reproductive cloning;

  5. supporting research into the most humane methods of managing and controlling introduced pest species.

Feral Species

The Tasmanian Greens will work towards:

  1. ensuring feral animal eradication is conducted, within a strategic framework, efficiently and humanely;

  2. maintaining strict quarantine control to minimise the potential for feral species entry into and establishment in Tasmania.

The full policy is available for download below.