Animals

Animals deserve our care and respect and must be recognised as living, feeling beings that have value separate from the wants and needs of people. The way animals are treated reflects how we value and treat ourselves and our society. Everyone has a responsibility to ensure the welfare of animals is respected and maintained.

Native animals are crucial to biodiversity. Their habitats are particularly at risk from human activity, from predation and competition from feral animals, and from climate change. In many cases these threats are extreme.

The Greens (WA) will work towards ending the pain and suffering experienced by animals through human actions.

Aims

The Greens (WA) want:

  • recognition of the importance of the welfare, well-being and rights of all animals
  • acknowledgement that animals have value beyond their immediate usefulness or economic importance to human beings
  • to implement the Five Domains1 model of positive welfare for nutrition, environment, health, behaviour and mental state for all animals
  • legally enforceable protections, aligning with the highest possible welfare standards for all animals, including those in agriculture (see also The Greens (WA) Agriculture policy)
  • penalties for animal cruelty and neglect to reflect the seriousness of the crime for both corporate and private offenders
  • an end to the live export of animals for slaughter, through a just transition, while ensuring all animal transport within Western Australia conforms to humane and enforceable standards
  • the prevention of any cruel or unnecessary use of animals for teaching or research (see also The Greens (WA) Education policy)
  • natural ecosystems to be preserved, protected, and restored for habitat, wildlife corridors, biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration and ecological sustainabilty (see also The Greens (WA) Biodiversity policy)
  • any necessary control of introduced species to be achieved through considered, humane, best practice methods
  • an end to the killing or abuse of animals for sport, or unnecessary consumer goods, such as cosmetic, fur or trophies
  • less animal based food

Measures

The Greens (WA) will initiate and support legislation and actions that:

  • create an independent Office of Animal Welfare
  • reform the Animal Welfare Act to introduce a duty of care for animals by their owners
  • ratify Australian Welfare Standards and Guidelines as quickly as possible in Western Australia
  • boost powers and resourcing for the inspection, detection and prosecution of individuals and businesses mistreating animals
  • prohibit inhumane farming practices that are inconsistent with animals' natural behavioural needs, such as battery hen cages and sow stalls that confine or restrict movement(see also The Greens (WA) Agriculture policy)
  • replace painful animal husbandry practices, such as mulesing and de-horning without appropriate pain relief, with humane alternatives
  • support appropriate standards and certification schemes for free-range, organic, humane and cruelty-free production systems
  • strengthen labelling laws to mandate listing of all animal products and derivatives, testing on animals and any 'Fairtrade' or ethical certification
  • introduce public education campaigns to increase the understanding of the impacts of diet and consumer choices on animal welfare, the environment and the climate
  • introduce humane education2 courses into school curricula and develop alternatives to the harmful use of animals in education (see also The Greens (WA) Education policy)
  • ban animal testing and experimentation which induces pain or distress
  • ensure transparent and ethical regulatory oversight for all research using animals
  • establish and maintain a state-wide centralised database of companion cats and dogs
  • maintain compulsory sterilisation of all cats, and introduce compulsory sterilisation of dogs, with exceptions for breeders, on veterinary advice, and for working dogs and assistance animals on application
  • subsidise sterilisation of cats and dogs for low income owners
  • provide registration support for cat and dog owners
  • replace the sale of cats and dogs from puppy farms, pet shops and markets with adoptions from shelters and sales from approved breeders
  • support and assist animal shelters and rescue organisations to care for, rehabilitate and re-home animals, aiming to reduce reduce euthanasia rates as much as possible
  • ban the intentional breeding of animals for characteristics that cause suffering for the animal
  • outlaw the inhumane use or killing of animals for sport, recreation or entertainment
  • ban the use of the whip in horse racing
  • end commercial horse and greyhound racing, ensuring a just transition for those employed in the industry
  • end mandatory muzzling requirements for retired greyhounds
  • ban the use of animals in circuses and theme parks
  • ensure that zoos are focused on conservation and education and ensure that all animals are kept in appropriately sized enclosures that are species appropriate
  • ban the importation and sale of ivory, shark fins and body parts of endangered and vulnerable species, including items obtained through 'trophy hunting' and traditional medicine
  • promote the intrinsic value of wildlife and the right of native species to live freely in their natural environment (see also The Greens (WA) Biodiversity policy)
  • protect, maintain and restore native ecosystems to preserve biodiversity
  • establish linked wildlife corridors as part of a landscape-scale approach to restoring biological connectivity and ecological integrity
  • implement effective and humane management of introduced species to protect native ecosystems and native species
  • legislate enforceable standards of humane slaughter procedures to prevent suffering and trauma in meat production (see also The Greens (WA) Food policy)

(See also the Australian Greens Animals policy)

Glossary

  1. The 'Five Domains' refers to nutrition, environment health, behaviour and mental state - see https://bit.ly/33vwlXS
  2. humane education - fosters an awareness for the rights, needs and protection of animals and the biosphere

Animals policy ratified by The Greens (WA) in 2020

The Greens (WA) spokesperson for animal welfare is Alison Xamon MLC

Photo of a hare wallaby at Project Eden near Shark Bay courtesy of Gary Beilby