Animal Welfare

The Greens are deeply committed to reducing animal cruelty. We are working with communities across the country to improve the treatment of animals.

The way we treat animals reflects how we treat ourselves and our society. The Greens SA will work towards ending animal cruelty.

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 state parliamentary party to have a specific portfolio responsibility for animal welfare, and in the South Australian parliament we have been strong advocates for animal rights and animal welfare.

Too many animals suffer and experience neglect, mistreatment, cruelty, injury and death as a result of human activities. We must properly care for animals and treat them with respect and compassion. The Greens are committed to ending the suffering of animals.

The Greens SA believe:

  1. Animals are sentient beings capable of feeling and suffering. Their intrinsic worth is separate from the needs of humans.

  2. The welfare of animals must be respected with regard to both the survival of species and the protection of individual animals.

  3. Humans and animals are interdependent.

  4. Humans have a responsibility to minimise any suffering of animals caused by human activities, and to maximise their quality of life.

  5. Animal welfare should be considered in terms of the “five freedoms”:

         i)    Freedom from hunger and thirst
         ii)   Freedom from discomfort
         iii)  Freedom from pain, injury and disease
         iv)  Freedom to express normal behaviour
         v)   Freedom from fear and distress

  6. Environmental damage caused by industries using animals or animal products should be effectively minimised or eliminated.

  7. Native animals and their habitats are at particular risk and require stringent protections.

  8. Climate change presents a significant threat to the welfare and survival of native and non-native animals particularly through the irrevocable change to ecosystems and native habitats.

  9. Community education is important to foster an understanding of the capabilities, needs and interests of animals.

The Greens will:

  1. Comprehensively revise current legislation to better protect native animals.

  2. Abolish any inhumane use or killing of animals for sport, recreation or entertainment.

  3. Include cephalopods, crustaceans and fish in the Animal Welfare Act.

  4. Ban jumps racing and ensure transparency during the closing phase of the industry.

  5. Ban Greyhound racing and ensure transparency during the closing phases of the industry.

  6. Conserve remaining natural habitat for native animals and introduce policies and incentives for the expansion of the same.

  7. Create incentives for property owners in urban, regional and rural areas to establish and conserve existing linked wildlife corridors and fragmented habitats, and to expand native revegetation.

  8. Raise the status of animals and end animal exploitation through community education and greater protection under the law.

  9. Provide education for consumers about the impacts of animal products on the environment, health and animal welfare.

  10. Abolish live animal export.

  11. Implement and enforce a certification scheme for free-range, biodynamic, and organic production systems that reflect the expectations consumers have for animal welfare.

  12. Implement and enforce a ban on commercial production of eggs from caged hens.

  13. End inhumane farming practices such as undersized enclosures restricting movement that are inconsistent with animals’ natural behavioural needs.

  14. End the captivity and killing of animals for the cosmetic and fashion industries, including the use of fur.

  15. Support local government authorities in establishing and maintaining universal registration of companion animals.

  16. Educate the public of the benefits of keeping cats contained indoors or enclosed outside areas.

  17. Abolish puppy farms and introduce laws to limit the number of breeding dogs that breeders can have.

  18. Replace the sale of animals from pet shops, markets and facilities such as puppy farms with adoption programs from shelters and licensed breeders.

  19. Legislate and develop programs for smart shelters for rehabilitating and re-homing unclaimed impounded animals.

  20. Ban animal based toxicology tests and support a transition to alternative medical research technologies that do not require the use of animals.

  21. Introduce and adopt legally enforceable codes of practice to protect the welfare of animals used in agriculture.

  22. Ensure that cruel acts and practices against animals are treated as serious crimes for corporate and private offenders.

  23. Ensure that the Animal Welfare Act is monitored and enforced by well-resourced and expert inspectorates.

  24. Ban the intentional breeding of animals for characteristics that cause suffering for the animal.

  25. Ensure that significant research is conducted into the issues facing land management, animal welfare, and biodiversity conservation

(Animal Welfare Policy as amended by The Greens SA Policy and Campaigns Council April 2021)