Animal Care Australia has assessed each Party on the following criteria:
- The Party’s existing Policies (both online and those provided to our organisation)
- Interactions and actions during the last term of Parliament. This includes, amendments to legislation, proposed new legislation, interaction/questions during Inquiries, and general debate during question time. (You can research by going to the Hansard Transcripts and searching the appropriate ‘House’ and the Party representatives for more information)
- Working relationship with Animal Care Australia.
Link to Hansard Transcripts
Reminder: For the purpose of this page ‘Animal Welfare policies’ refers to those for pets, companion and exhibited animals only. Parties may have policies dealing with animals in the racing industry, agriculture, environment & native (wild not captive) wildlife but these sit outside of our purview.
The Coalition (Liberal/Nationals): Even though both parties do not have online animal welfare policies, the Coalition has continually supported responsible keeping and breeding of pets while seeking to improve animal welfare with methods that do not include restrictions on numbers or breeding capacities outside of existing legislation. They have supported pets in rental housing and appropriate amendments to animal cruelty sentencing. The Coalition has opposed all animal rights ideological based amendments, and have supported exhibited animals. The Coalition has actively sought out consultation with Animal Care Australia. The Coalition has indicated this will not change in the coming term of Parliament. Animal Care Australia has rated the Coalition a GREEN flag.
Labor Party: Even though Labor do not have online animal welfare policies, they have generally supported responsible keeping and breeding of pets. They opposed most animal rights ideological based amendments, however sought to support breeding restriction legislation while making a number of minor amendments, and has actively sought out consultation with Animal Care Australia. Labor has indicated they will be seeking to introduce their own puppy farm legislation similar to the Victorian model, an Office of Independent Welfare, a ‘fit & proper person’ assessment that would prohibit breeding and keeping of animals, support pets in rental accommodation and review the Companion Animal Act and Prevention of Cruelty To Animals Acts. Labor has consistently consulted with Animal Care Australia. While Animal Care Australia does not oppose policies that result in improvements and advancements of animal welfare, we are hesitant to endorse several of the proposed policies until we are able to assess the details of those policies. Labor’s support of (with minor amendments) the recent AJP Puppy Farm Bill does raise concerns with us. Animal Care Australia has rated Labor a YELLOW flag – proceeding with some caution/questions awaiting further answers.
Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party (SFF): The SFF have some online policies currently cited under the banner of ‘animal rights’ – do not confuse this to mean they support animal rights – they do not. Animal Care Australia particularly appreciates their policies on opposing both animal rights and specific animal law that would effectively remove ownership of your animals. The SFF have continuously spoken out in support of pets and companion animals and your rights to own and breed them while seeking out methods to improve their welfare (albeit most of these attempts have been opposed by others). The SFF have indicated their willingness to hold the enforcement agencies accountable and will call for Inquiries into the enforcement agencies and the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service. The SFF have actively sought out, responded to and appreciated all consultation with Animal Care Australia. Animal Care Australia has rated the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers a GREEN flag.
One Nation Party: One Nation does not have any online animal welfare policies. One Nation has continuously opposed animal rights and ideological proposals within Parliament while supporting the keeping of pets and companion animals. One Nation has not responded to Animal Care Australia’s attempts to discuss matters of concern throughout this last term and therefore we do not know of their future intentions. Animal Care Australia has rated One Nation a GREEN flag based solely on their history of having supported the keeping of pets and opposing animal rights ideologies.
NSW Greens Party: The Greens has an exhaustive list of online policies labelled as ‘animal welfare’. Some of these include, introducing an Independent Office of Animal Welfare, supporting pets on transport, and while Animal Care Australia supports the intent of those, the details of how they will be implemented remains a concern. Animal Care Australia does not support the following policies: phase out the use of animals in travelling attractions – this would see the demise of petting zoos & pony rides at Community Fairs or school fundraisers, agricultural shows and many more would also be impacted. Capping animal numbers, with limits on fertile female animals per breeder; total animals on a single property, and total litters whelped per female animal; restricting breeding of brachycephalic (short snouted) breeds; banning surgical artificial insemination; banning the sale of animals via pet shops; immediately ban euthanasia by any method other than intravenous injection; and there are more. These restrictions, bans, and phase-outs are all animal rights policies and make this Party no different to the Animal Justice Party. Animal Care Australia has consulted on one occasion with the Greens and is not sought out by them for our input. Animal Care Australia has rated the NSW Greens a RED flag.
The Animal Justice Party (AJP): The AJP has an exhaustive list of animal based policies – as you would expect – however none of these policies are labelled as ‘animal welfare’ – in fact, a number of them refer to the issue as ‘animal protection’. To be clear – animal protection IS NOT animal welfare! Animal Care Australia has worked with and supported the AJP in their endeavours to have pets allowed in rental housing, to see greater bans on animals left in vehicles on hot days, and changes to legislation surrounding bestiality and crush video content. Animal Care Australia does support the intent of the Veticare policy however, there is still little detail available as to how it would be structured, funded and what impact it would have on the veterinary industry. Animal Care Australia supports the AJP’s policies for pets in residential tenancies, on public transport and in public places. Animal Care Australia does not support the following policies as they are based on animal rights ideology, and not scientifically supported: Introduce a cap on the number of breeding dogs/cats held at any one property, and a cap on the number of litters a breeding dog/cat can have per year and over their lifetime; phase out the breeding of animals with inherent genetic problems; immediately ban recreational horse-drawn carriage rides; redirect government funding and subsidies away from industries that use animals for entertainment (Our ultimate goal is to eliminate them); abolish the property status of animals; reframe companion animals as individuals, and work towards a definition of personhood to replace the current property status of animals; establish an Independent Office of Animal Protection, and a Minister for Animal Protection; advocate for an international treaty on animal rights; and finally the Animal Justice Party (AJP) believes animal rights is the biggest social justice issue of our time (headline of their Law & Justice policy) . Animal Care Australia has rated the Animal Justice Party a RED flag.
Socialist Alliance (SA): The SA has animal welfare policies that do not include pets other than to ‘Establish a national framework for the protection of animal welfare to monitor and enforce existing laws that criminalise cruelty against all animals and regulate conditions for the captivity, transport and slaughter of animals’. Animal Care Australia supports the intention of monitoring existing laws and regulating conditions, however abolishing animals in recreation and entertainment would result in the demise of activities such as dog skills/sporting championships or even horse riding. Animal Care Australia cannot support such a policy. Animal Care Australia rated the Socialist Alliance a YELLOW flag as we do see a clear mix of animal rights and animal welfare clash.
Sustainable Australia Party/Stop Overdevelopment Corruption (SAPSOC): The SAPSOC have few policies dealing with pets. Animal Care Australia does support the intent of ‘Implement mandatory and independently regulated best practice animal welfare management’ however when looking at other policies which are restrictive and animal rights based, this raises concerns about how this policy may be enacted. The SAPSOC has had no interactions or consultation with Animal Care Australia. Animal Care Australia has rated SAPSOC a RED flag.
INDEPENDENTS: Animal Care Australia has reached out to some Independents and while not all of those have responded, Animal Care Australia is confident that we can work and consult with the following Independents:
Roy Butler (Barwon) – Animal Care Australia has worked with Roy during the last term of Parliament. Animal Care Australia knows that Roy will not only consult with us but has opposed policies that are animal rights based, including protecting rights to keep, breed and care for pets and companion animals. Animal Care Australia is confident this will continue should he be re-elected. Animal Care Australia has rated Roy Butler a GREEN flag.
Phil Donato (Orange) – Animal Care Australia has worked with Phil during the last term of Parliament. Animal Care Australia knows first hand that Phil will consult with us – having consulted with us previously. Phil has opposed policies that are animal rights based, including protecting rights to keep, breed and care for pets and companion animals. Animal Care Australia is confident this will continue should he be re-elected. Animal Care Australia has rated Phil Donato a GREEN flag.
Judith Hannan (Wollondilly & Southern Highlands) – while Animal Care Australia has not directly consulted with Judith in the past, she has been a strong supporter of the rights of people within her local electorate to keep and breed pets and companion animals. In the spirit of full disclosure, ACA Vice-President has assisted as a part of Judith’s team during her current electoral campaign and in the past during Local Council meetings where matters regarding the keeping of pets have arisen. That ongoing relationship provides the basis of confidence in rating Judith. Animal Care Australia has rated Judith Hannan a GREEN flag.
It should be noted: Animal Care Australia is not opposed to an Office of Animal Welfare or a Minister for Animal Welfare but these must include initiatives that result in the improvement of animal welfare outcomes and not animal rights ideologies and the employment of an animal welfare inspectorate that reports directly to a Chief Animal Welfare Officer. The Chief Animal Welfare Officer, and Minister for Animal Welfare must be held accountable to Parliament and therefore to the people.