Animal Welfare


The Greens NSW adopt the following principles, taken from the Brambell Committee and the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare as they relate to the treatment of all animals in our care:

1. Freedom from hunger and thirst - by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour. 

2. Freedom from discomfort - by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting place. 

3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease - by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment. 

4. Freedom to express normal behaviour - by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal's own kind. 

5. Freedom from fear and distress- by ensuring conditions and treatment that avoid mental suffering.

Therefore, the Greens NSW believe that:

6. The use of animals, land and marine, by our society requires that we must take responsibility for their welfare, protection and their impact on natural ecosystems;

7. 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;

8. Indigenous Australians, 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;

9. In order to protect native fauna and flora species, the management of invasive animals must be carried out humanely;

10. 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; and

11. 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.


Native Animals

The Greens NSW will work to:

12. Protect, restore and extend natural habitats for Australian native animals including marine and riverine species;

13. Increase penalties for the unauthorised killing or capture of native species;

14. End the unlicensed capture or trading of native fauna;

15. Ensure that where humans manage native animal populations this is done humanely, by non-lethal methods, and, where such measures do not exist, resources are provided for research and development of non-lethal methods; 

16. Recognise dingos as an integral part of the Australian ecology and our native heritage, and advocate for additional resources to maintain the integrity of this species;

17. Establish a moratorium on all large-scale commercial killing of native wildlife populations, including kangaroos, pending investigations into animal welfare concerns and environmental claims;

18. Promote the implementation of evidence-based wildlife crossings in all new road developments, upgrades and on existing roads that are wildlife black spots;

19. Provide government funding to wildlife rescue and care organisations; and

20. Promote emergency plans that encompass the welfare of animals in natural and human-made disasters.

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:

21. 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;

22. 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;

23. Manage domestic animals so that they are not able to establish themselves in the wild;

24. 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; and

25. End recreational hunting in state forests and national parks while acknowledging there currently are instances where lethal invasive animal control measures are necessary.

Farm animals

The Greens NSW will work for:

26. The phasing out of intensive meat and egg production such as feedlots and caged hens and replacing them with government regulated free-range methods and structural adjustment support to facilitate the changes;

27. An end cruel management practices associated with the meat, egg and dairy industries, such as debeaking and the premature removal of newborn calves from their mothers;

28. An immediate end to the use of sow stalls, farrowing crates and the tethering of sows;

29. The provision of housing, including flooring, that provides comfort and hygiene for animals when they are confined;

30. The phasing out of sheep mulesing through the effective treatment of fly strike and breeding out of predisposed traits;

31. The prevention, rapid diagnosis and treatment of injurious behaviours, injury, parasitic infestations and other diseases;

32. 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;

33. 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;

34. 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;

35. The adoption of a free-range food policy by all government institutions responsible for serving food;

36. The prohibition of genetic engineering involving animals;

37. An end to the live-animal export trade and the provision of upfront industry assistance to speed the transition out of the industry; and

38. An immediate end to all live stock transport practices that are inhumane.

Companion animals 

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

39. Widespread fertility control to reduce the number of un-homed companion animals;

40. Government-funded responsible pet ownership education programs to improve the health and welfare of domestic animals;

41. 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;

42. Restrictions on the selective breeding of animals for characteristics that are physically or psychologically harmful to the animal itself or to others;

43. The prohibition of mutilation of companion animals such as tail docking, declawing and debarking;

44. The abolition of puppy farms, backyard breeding and other intensive companion animal breeding practices;

45. 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;

46. Legislation to regulate the sale of pets, including transparent tracking from birth;

47. The phasing out of the sale of live animals in pet shops;

48. Widespread subsidised de-sexing of companion animals;

49. Compulsory micro-chipping stored in a government-controlled centralised database;

50. An increase in the rehoming rate to phase out the killing of unwanted and abandoned companion animals;

51. Ensuring that euthanasia to end unnecessary suffering caused by disease or injury is conducted by a trained professional and results in the least pain and stress to the animal; and

52. The encouragement and education of pet owners toward preventing their pets from hunting, entering bushland unrestrained, and from escaping (or being dumped) and thus giving rise to invasive populations.

Animals used for entertainment

The Greens NSW will work for:

53. 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;

54. A ban on greyhound racing in NSW and the allocation of sufficient resources by the industry to rehabilitate and re-home affected animals;

55. The heavy regulation of the greyhound racing industry by a body that is independent of the industry which will protect dogs and other animals from being abused or killed until such time as the industry is banned;

56. A ban on the export of greyhounds for commercial breeding and racing purposes;

57. The regulation of the use and breeding of animals for the purposes of entertainment such as horse racing, to ensure animals are treated without cruelty and that their welfare needs are fully met, consistent with principles outlined above;

58. 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;

59. 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; 

60. 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;

61. The abolition of the use or display of wild animals in circuses;

62. The abolition of rodeos;

63. 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; and

64. 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.

Animals used in teaching, research and testing

The Greens NSW will work to:

65. Abolish the use of animals in all testing for cosmetics;

66. Abolish draize eye tests;

67. Prohibit genetic engineering involving animals, including cloning;

68. Require clear labelling of products, listing animal ingredients and derivatives and any animal experimentation and testing methods used;

69. Promote alternatives to xenotransplantation;

70. Promote alternatives to animal experimentation in schools, universities and other educational settings, including the use of computer technologies, tissue samples and epidemiology;

71. Promote alternatives to animal experimentation in scientific and medical research using the above strategies; and

72. Promote alternatives to the exposure and poisoning of animals in toxicity, toxicological, and field studies.


The Greens NSW will work to:

73. Strengthen and enforce all animal welfare legislation;

74. Prohibit all cruel acts and practices involving animals, and ensure that such acts are treated as serious crimes;

75. Replace the status of non-human animals as 'property' within current legislation to one of 'sentient beings' with recognisable legal rights;

76. Restore the legal right of third parties to initiate proceedings under animal welfare laws;

77. 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;

78. 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 orang-utans and other species; and

79. Comprehensively ban recreational duck shooting on private and crown land. 

80. Establishment of an Office of Animal Welfare as a NSW statutory authority with responsibility for advising upon animal welfare and protection issues.