Animal Welfare


1. Animals must be recognised as sentient beings that deserve our care and respect.
2. Animals have intrinsic value, separate from the needs of humans, who have a responsibility to ensure that animals’ rights and welfare are respected.
3. Strong animal welfare standards and laws are necessary.
4. Native animals and their habitats are at particular risk and require stringent protections.
5. Humans have a duty of care to minimise physical and psychological suffering of animals resulting from human activity.
6. The Greens NSW adopt the following framework of welfare domains as they relate to the treatment of all animals in our care:
     6.1 Nutrition: appropriate consumption of nutritious foods is a pleasurable experience
     6.2 Environmental: benign conditions offer adaptive choices and enrichment appropriate to each species
     6.3 Health: physically sound (uninjured, disease-free) animals enjoy good health
     6.4 Behaviour: environment-focused and socially interactive activities are satisfying and engaging for the animal
     6.5 Mental: Domain or Affective State: for example animals experience comfort, pleasure, interest and confidence

Therefore the Greens NSW believe that:

7. The use of animals, land, air and marine, by our society requires that we must take responsibility for their welfare, protection and their impact on natural ecosystems.
8. Given that humans have also impacted heavily on natural ecosystems, there is a need to care for these systems to ensure native animals and their habitats are protected and restored.
9. First Nations peoples, as traditional owners, have the right to significant involvement in the formation of policy relating to the management and care of native flora and fauna.
10. In order to protect native fauna and flora species, the management of non-endemic animals must be evidence-based and carried out humanely.
11. The significant environmental impacts caused by the farming of animals such as the emission of greenhouse gases, land degradation, water use and pollution, necessitate a decrease in production
12. Climate change presents a significant threat to the welfare and survival of native and non-native fauna particularly through the irrevocable change to ecosystems and native habitats.
13. A ‘just transition’ is required for communities and workers who have traditionally derived income from industries that will be impacted by this policy.


A. Native Animals

The Greens NSW will work to:

14. Protect, restore and extend natural habitats for Australian native animals including marine and riverine species.
15. Increase penalties for the unauthorised killing or capture and keeping of native species, excepting where an animal welfare emergency exists that must be dealt with quickly and humanely.
16. End the unlicensed trading of native fauna.
17. Ensure that where humans have scientifically identified a need to manage native animal populations this is done humanely. Where non-lethal methods do not exist, resources are provided for research and development of non-lethal methods.
18. Prohibition of all commercial killing of native wildlife populations, including kangaroos.
19. Promote the implementation of evidence-based wildlife crossings in all new road developments, upgrades and on existing roads that are wildlife black spots.
20. Provide government funding to wildlife rescue and care organisations.
21. Ensure emergency plans encompass the welfare of animals in natural and human-made disasters.

B. Wild introduced animals

Recognising the damage done to our ecosystems and native fauna by deliberate and accidental release of invasive animal species, the Greens NSW will work to:

22. Manage invasive animals, humanely, including by encouraging non-lethal methods, and where such measures do not exist, provide resources for research and development of non-lethal methods.
23. Ensure that lethal and non-lethal measures of population management are based on meaningful population control. All methods employed must be professional and scientifically proven to be effective before undertaken.
24. Ban the use of 1080 and pindone poisons, used for the management of animal populations, and invest in research for a humane alternative.
25. Manage domestic animals so that they are not able to establish themselves in the wild.
26. Introduce and strengthen existing safeguards to prevent the accidental or deliberate introduction of further species of domestic or wild animals, including marine and riverine species, to Australia from overseas.
27. Ban recreational hunting in state forests and national parks.

C. Farm animals

The Greens NSW will work for:

28. The ending of intensive meat and egg production such as feedlots and battery cages.
29. An end to cruel management practices associated with the meat, egg and dairy industries, such as debeaking and the killing of male calves and chicks as wastage.
30. Mandatory standards to render an animal insensible prior to the point of slaughter, including instantaneous death.
31. An immediate end to the use of sow stalls, farrowing crates and the tethering of sows.
32. The provision of housing, including flooring and shade that provides comfort, enrichment and hygiene for animals when they are confined.
33. The ending of sheep mulesing through the effective and humane treatment of fly strike and breeding out of predisposed traits.
34. The prevention, rapid diagnosis and treatment of injurious behaviours, injury, parasitic infestations and other diseases.
35. Accreditation systems that incentivise higher-welfare production practices, from producer to consumer, including breeding, housing, transport, sale and slaughter, and the reduction in the number of animals considered to be surplus.
36. Prohibition of reproductive techniques, selective breeding and animal feed and management practices that may cause animals to suffer and/or to develop harmful physiological defects.
37. The government regulation of businesses that are involved in the production and supply of animal products, so that these businesses must provide accurate information to the consumer concerning the origin, production system, and care of the animals.
38. The mandatory implementation of CCTV systems to monitor for cruel, unlawful practices in animal farming facilities, regulated by the relevant government authority.
39. The adoption of a free-range food policy by all government institutions responsible for serving food.
40. The prohibition of genetic engineering involving animals.
41. An end to the live-animal export trade and the provision of upfront industry assistance to speed the transition out of the industry.
42. An immediate end to all inhumane livestock transport practices, the minimisation of animal transport through the use of emerging technologies, and enforcement of existing codes of practice.

D. Companion animals

The Greens NSW, in ensuring the welfare of all animals kept in a domestic setting, will work for:

43. Widespread fertility control to reduce the number of un-homed companion animals.
44. Government-funded responsible pet ownership education programs to improve the health and welfare of domestic animals.
45. Standards to ensure that domestic animals, including reptiles, birds, fish and small mammals kept in confined enclosures, are given adequate opportunities to meet their physical and psychological needs.
46. Restrictions on the selective breeding of animals for characteristics that are physically or psychologically harmful to the animal itself or to others.
47. The prohibition of mutilation of companion animals such as tail docking, declawing and debarking.
48. The abolition of puppy farms, backyard breeding and other intensive companion animal breeding practices.
49. The introduction of an effective companion animal breeder licensing scheme that is independently monitored.
50. Effective laws to prevent the impulse purchase of companion animals including cooling-off periods and trial homing, and the provision of comprehensive pre-purchase information.
51. Legislation to regulate the sale of pets, including transparent tracking from birth.
52. End the sale of live animals in pet shops.
53. Mandatory desexing of companion animals at the point of sale or adoption, and government subsidisation of desexing of companion animals.
54. Compulsory microchipping, stored in a government-controlled centralised database.
55. An increase in the rehoming rate to eliminate the killing of unwanted and abandoned companion animals, through increased funding for rehoming programs, and legislative reforms such as allowing pets in rental properties and ensuring domestic violence shelters can accommodate pets.
56. Ensuring that euthanasia to end unnecessary suffering caused by disease or injury uses best practice and is conducted by a trained and qualified professional or a trained and experienced animal rescuer where possible, and results in the least pain and stress to the animal.
57. Ensuring a minimum standard of qualification and recognised key competencies in animal management for supervisors and coordinators in companion animal shelters and facilities.
58. A government-funded state-wide campaign of education of pet-owners and regulation to prevent pets from roaming and hunting, entering bushland unrestrained, and from escaping (or being dumped) and thus giving rise to invasive populations.
59. Provisions to allow pets on public transport.

E. Animals used for entertainment

The Greens NSW will work for:

60. The abolition of all cruel and inhumane treatment of animals used in sport, recreation and entertainment, including animal circuses, zoos and other displays of live animals.
61. A ban on greyhound racing in NSW and the allocation of sufficient resources by the industry to rehabilitate and rehome affected animals.
62. A ban on the export of greyhounds for commercial purposes, including for breeding and racing purposes.
63. The strong regulation of the horse racing industry by a body that is independent of the industry which will protect horses from being abused or killed, and a Special Commission of Inquiry to investigate wastage, animal cruelty, and adverse health impacts of horse racing.
64. The abolition of the breeding of wild animal species for the purposes of entertainment, such as cetaceans.
65. An end to the inhumane treatment of racehorses, including a ban on whipping, and ensuring that racehorses must be supplied with continuously available fibrous feed.
66. Ensuring that animals kept in zoos, fauna parks, aquatic parks and live animal displays have their natural behaviours supported by suitable habitat that meets their physical and psychological needs.
67. Where facilities fail to deliver on the core principles stated above, ensuring that steps are taken to phase them out, and a ban is placed on the importation or exportation of animals for zoos, except where it will assist the overall conservation of the species.
68. The prohibition on the establishment of new zoos, fauna parks, and aquatic parks with an exception for endangered animal breeding facilities and sanctuaries.
69. The abolition of the use or display of cetaceans in captive environments such as a concrete pool, for any purpose other than rescue and/or rehabilitation.
70. The abolition of the use or display of wild animals in circuses.
71. The abolition of rodeos.
72. The regulation of animals used in film, television and live performances to ensure animals are treated without cruelty and their welfare needs are fully met, consistent with principles outlined above. 
73. The worldwide abolition of all blood sports, such as recreational hunting, dog-fighting, cock-fighting, bear baiting, bull-fighting and other practices involving killing and/or torture of animals.
74. Abolish chick hatching programs in schools.

F. Animals used in teaching, research and testing

The Greens NSW will work to:

75. Abolish the use of animals in all testing for cosmetics.
76. Abolish draize eye tests.
77. Prohibit genetic engineering involving animals, including cloning.
78. Require clear labelling of products, listing animal ingredients and derivatives and any animal experimentation and testing methods used.
79. Promote alternatives to xenotransplantation.
80. Ban animal dissection and experimentation in primary and secondary schools, and promote alternatives to animal experimentation in schools, universities and other educational settings, including the use of computer technologies, tissue samples and epidemiology.
81. Promote alternatives to animal experimentation in scientific and medical research using the above strategies.
82. End the exposure and poisoning of animals in toxicity, toxicological, and field studies, and promote alternatives such as in vitro and in silico modelling and other validated methodologies.
83. Make information in relation to current animal experimentation in scientific and medical research freely and readily available to the general public.

G. Legislation

The Greens NSW will work to:

84. Strengthen and enforce all animal welfare legislation.
85. Prohibit all cruel acts and practices involving animals, and ensure that such acts are treated as serious crimes.
86. Replace the status of non-human animals as 'property' within current legislation to one of 'sentient beings' with recognisable legal rights.
87. Restore the legal right of third parties to initiate proceedings under animal welfare laws.
88. Legislate to require the accurate and transparent labelling of all animal products and contents sold in New South Wales and a system for tracing and auditing all ingredients to ensure consumers have access to information on the origin, production system, housing and care of the animals involved.
89. Require mandatory labelling of all products that contain ingredients that are derived from land-management practices that put at risk the survival of endangered animal or plant species or populations, including palm oil and its impacts on orangutans and other species.
90. A ban on the import, sale, use and consumption of shark fin and shark fin products.
91. Ban recreational duck shooting on private and crown land.
92. Establishment of an independent Office of Animal Welfare as a NSW statutory authority with responsibility for advising upon animal welfare and protection issues, and monitoring compliance with, and enforcement of, relevant legislation.

Last revised February 2024.