It’s good to see a draft animal welfare plan released for public comment by the state government this week, Greens animal welfare spokesperson, Sue Pennicuik said today.
“But, if the government is to be taken seriously about "a proactive approach to animal welfare and the humane and ethical treatment of animals, both domestic and wild,"* then it really needs to catch up with most of the rest of Australia which long ago banned duck shooting and jumps racing and to follow NSW and put an end to greyhound racing.
“Urgent action also needs to be taken to protect the habitat of threatened species such as Victoria’s fauna emblem – the leadbeater’s possum.
"While few people could argue with concepts such as using an evidence based framework, improving consultation, communication, education and training and ensuring Victoria has an effective compliance system in place - these things are or should already be happening.
"The draft plan mentions reviewing Victoria's animal welfare legislation, regulations and codes of practice and the Greens agree this need to be done, but there is little detail in the draft plan as to what that actually means,” Ms Pennicuik said. “It should include the establishment of an independent office for animal welfare.”
"We should also be wary of buzz phrases like 'collaborative approaches', 'co-regulation' and 'quality assurance programs' as current animal welfare legislation, regulations and codes are already too heavily influenced by industry leading to the animal cruelty and suffering we see every day in industries that raise animals for human consumption or use animals for so called entertainment, Ms Pennicuik said.
*Draft Animal Welfare Action Plan, p4.