Animal Justice Party Ticks all the animal welfare and conservation boxes

Four respected animal welfare and conservation groups have given the tick of approval to the Animal Justice Party’s policies.

The Humane Society International (HSI) rated the AJP highly against all seven indicators of conservation and all four indicators of animal welfare in its 2016 Federal Election Report Card. http://hsi.org.au/assets/publications/520_2016-federal-election-report-card.pdf

In its submission to the HSI, the AJP said it cannot support so-called conservation arguments by gun-toting vandals, representatives of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, some landowners and some apparent conservation organisations like Bush Heritage who believe that Australian native animals can be killed in the mistaken pretence that it somehow protects other endangered animals.

“The evidence from the ACT in relation to kangaroos demonstrates this is a totally wrongheaded view about ecology and the place of native animals that is not consistent with international experience”, said Professor Steve Garlick, National President of the Animal Justice Party. “We cannot support the Greens, Labor or the Liberal National Party in the ACT for having such beliefs with disastrous outcomes for all our wildlife. As we have stated before, the killing culture towards Australia’s native animals has to stop.”

World Animal Protection, http://www.worldanimalprotection.org.au/news/independent-office-animal-welfare-champion-australian-animals?id=U0616E12, Animals Australia http://www.animalsaustralia.org/features/election-2016-where-parties-stand.php

and Voiceless have similarly rated the AJP highly against their respective animal welfare criteria including calling for an Independent Office of Animal Welfare, banning live animal exports, banning animal testing for cosmetics, and banning the killing of kangaroos.

 

Animal Justice Party calls for end to live animal exports

The Animal Justice Party today called for an end to the live animal export trade adding its voice to almost 80% of the Australian population, who recent surveys estimate oppose live export1.

AJP National President, Professor Steve Garlick said;” There is no moral or economic argument in support of this cruel trade.”

“The past week of revelations concerning the abuse of Australian live trade animals has been shocking. This litany of cruel behaviours cannot go on.

“Industry and government statements attempt to hide the fact that the industry is miniscule, brings little by way of economic return to the country and damages the reputation of our nation.2 “Live export is only worth one eighth of Australia’s boxed meat exports. Most farmer income in these situations (93%) is derived from crops and wool).

“Continuing revelations of animal abuse in the live animal export industry, whether it is the tens of thousands of animals that die at sea or the often horrific cruelty in arrival countries demonstrate that government claims that the sector is being regulated are not matched in practice. It is evident that neither of the major federal parties appears to have the will to regulate this trade in a humane way.”, “If the majority of Australians who oppose live trade want it stopped they need to support the AJP to gain a voice in parliament so it increase its strenuous efforts to stop this appalling trade.

Professor Garlick said that AJP policy was to establish an Independent Office of Animal Welfare. The ALP expressed its support of this in a letter to the AJP President last week.

The ALP had also backed the AJP’s concept of financial support for plant based industries in Australia. “We know there is at least $8.3 million available,” Professor Garlick said. “This is funding that the Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has just announced he wants to spend funding Vietnam abattoirs so they can take even more live Australian animals for slaughter.

“This live export industry needs to be stopped and funds allocated to alternative industries in Australia like increased plant based industries, that employ Australian workers.

The struggle must go on but a vote for the AJP at this election is now very important.

Contact details: Professor Steve Garlick, National President 042 888 0564

Background summary

Animal Justice Party abhors Government cruelty actions

Australia exports over three million live animals every year. Cattle, sheep and goats are shipped long distances in distressing conditions which result in illness and death for a significant number. They are often slaughtered in countries without adequate protections against cruelty.

Most of the dreadful incidents regarding this terrible industry were not detected through the Labor or Liberal Government’s own monitoring systems. These incidents only came to light through investigations by non-government organisations. Labor and Liberal Australian government regulations are failing to prevent or detect cruelties in the live export trade.

Following years of evidence-based criticism of the cruelty of live animal exports, over recent days the need for urgent action has become even more evident.

Survey after survey tells us the Australian people want this industry to stop.

For the animals themselves, this cruel live export must stop.

Revelations over the last week show the only way to prevent the live export of animals is to vote for political parties which are committed to stopping the trade. The only political party which will do this is the Animal Justice Party.

Here is the most recent history of the situation:

  • Last week (June 15) saw the terrible images shown on the ABC’s 7.30 report about Vietnam abattoirs.
  • Soon after was the revelation that cattle export industry representatives called for less regulation about the wellbeing of animals on the basis that these regulations allegedly limited Australia’s economic benefit.
  • On Wednesday June 22nd came the revelation concerning the expert veterinarian Dr Lynn Simpson being removed from her job by the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture because she revealed the cruelty of existing transport conditions for live export animals. The Commonwealth Department had allegedly received complaints from Industry about the
  • potentially damaging impact of a report as critical as hers.
  • On Thursday June 23rd the Deputy Prime Minister announced $8.3 million dollars to Vietnamese abattoirs.This litany of support for animal terror has demonstrated a number of important things.
  • evidence of cruelty is not enough to make any government of the major political parties stop the trade
  • revelations of the cruelty of the trade can lead to moves to remove the source of this information from employment
  • the so-called economic benefit to the country is miniscule, as is the number of farmers involved, as Live export is only worth one eighth of Australia’s boxed meat exports. Most farmer income in these situations (93%) is derived from crops and wool).

The AJP has strenuously pushed for an Independent office of Animal Welfare as part of Commonwealth Government arrangements to combat the ferocity of vested interests.

The AJP has developed an agreement with the ALP that establishing an Independent Office of Animal Welfare is a necessary one and one which is to be implemented if the ALP governs the country.

Moreover the AJP has addressed the economic issues of transition away from live animal exports through an agreement with the ALP to fund the development of plant- based agriculture .

Voters and all animal focussed organisations who are truly sick of the corruption of public process around animal wellbeing should support the AJP in its vigorous campaign to stop live animal exports.

Support statements can be found on:

  • https://www.voiceless.org.au/the-issues/live-export
  • Backlash – Australia’s conflict of values over live Exports – Bidda Jones

[1] Lonergan Research, WSPA Live Export Study Report (2012) 4-6 Quoted on Voiceless web site

The Age June 24: Opinion poll after opinion poll shows most of us want the bloody business of live animal exports stopped. It’s our political leaders who are looking the other way. Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/arguments-for-live-export-trade-ring-hollow-20160331-gnuss0.html#ixzz4CSmHP6Zr

2 Live export represents just 0.4% of Australia’s total exports, while chilled meat trade is already worth 12 times more to our economy than the live trade for slaughter. In 2013. Most farmers don’t live export. Just 6% of cattle and 7% of sheep raised for slaughter in Australia last year actually went into the live export trade, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

 

 

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AJP Independent Office of Animal Welfare proposal gains Labor support

AJP Independent Office of Animal Welfare proposal gains Labor support

An Animal Justice Party proposal for an Independent Office of Animal Welfare has gained federal Australian Labor Party support.

Professor Steve Garlick, President of the AJP said “The AJP proposes that the Commonwealth Government establish a regulatory office focussing on animal welfare. The Office of Animal Welfare would cover all animal sectors coming under Commonwealth Government legislation.”

Professor Garlick said ALP support for the AJP proposal was confirmed in a letter from the Shadow Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, Mark Butler.

Mr Butler had said that when in Government the ALP “would work with the states and territories to identify the most appropriate structure of an Independent Office of Animal Welfare operating independently of government. Labor would also re-establish state and territory intergovernmental cooperation to ensure animal welfare matters receive the consistent national approach they deserve.”

“We welcome the fact that the ALP sees the need for government to look more closely at animal welfare in areas such as live trade, kangaroo killing and intensive animal agriculture. We are happy to work closely with the ALP to ensure an animal welfare regulatory framework and agenda such as this becomes a reality”, said Professor Garlick.

”While ALP support is important, nevertheless an AJP presence in Parliament is vital to ensure animal welfare issues are taken into account in relevant government-supported programs.”

Professor Garlick said the IOAW would function similarly to regulatory bodies like the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission or the Australian Securities and Investment Commission. He said, “The recent ABC 7.30 program showing appallingly cruel treatment of Australian exported live cattle to Vietnam once again demonstrates that industry and the Turnbull government cannot be relied on for animal welfare.

An Independent Office of Animal Welfare would prepare a regular State of Animal Welfare report for Parliament, including breaches to legislation. It would also report to a relevant Ministerial Council to ensure consistency and collaborative effort between all spheres of government, Professor Garlick said.

 “”It would include an independent Inspector-General of Animal Welfare, with policing functions. Such arrangements would make any need for the so-called ‘ag-gag’ legislation(1) being considered by the Turnbull Government, completely redundant[i],” he said.

“The support of the Labor Party for an IOAW means that such an office may soon become a reality and a welcome light will at last be shed upon a wide spectrum of animal cruelty activities in Australia.”

 

[i] Ag Gag legislation is legislation specifically designed to curb animal activist monitoring and investigative activities within the agricultural sector. For example In September 2015 the NSW government signed into law the Biosecurity Bill 2015. The Biosecurity Bill legislation has been criticised and labelled as the advent of Australian “ag-gag” legislation due to the powers and provisions it provides law enforcement with, particularly regarding activist activities on behalf of mistreated and abused animals.

Labor and the Animal Justice Party agree to increase plant-based food production

 The Animal Justice Party and the Australian Labor Party have agreed to work together to increase the production of plant-based food in Australia.

Professor Garlick, AJP President, said today: “Following discussion with us, the ALP in government has agreed to develop and expand initiatives which can maximise plant-based food production and expand these agricultural markets. This will be great for local investment and jobs.”

As a result of discussions with the AJP, the ALP Shadow Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Mark Butler, has stated that a Labor Government would direct funding to support this approach, Professor Garlick said.

“Increasing the availability of plant based food stimulates non-lethal agriculture and horticulture,” he said.

“This is an alternative to an industry which presently involves cruel and unnecessary trafficking in live farm animals to far away countries inflicting immense suffering on Australian bred animals during the journey and frequently at the destination country.

Professor Garlick said that Mr Butler had said that Labor believed “in safeguarding animal welfare and promoting the ethical treatment of animals and lifting plant food productivity.” “This will be great for jobs, human health and ameliorating climate change”, said Professor Garlick.

“The AJP is opposed to trafficking live farm animals,” Professor Garlick said. ”It is an industry which exists only to generate a good rate of return for a small number of high worth individuals and institutions but which comes at the expense of animal cruelty, human health and local jobs. Successive Australian governments have encouraged this unnecessary and cruel industry.

Professor Garlick said, “The proposal by the AJP and the ALP to support investment in plant-based food is about ‘jobs and growth’; but in an ethical non-lethal industry. Our belief is that in the future, investment in the live trade industry will cease in favour of investment in a diverse, organic, non-lethal agriculture industry where the returns, the jobs and other benefits for us all will be greater.”

“A great deal of rhetoric by parties such as the Greens and some animal groups about banning the live trade in farm animals has achieved nothing for the animals for three decades.  They have had no real plan. This is not good enough. Now, thanks to the AJP, there is a plan to end this awful live trade industry which has become worse over the past decade.”

14 June 2016

Further information: Professor Steve Garlick, President: 042 888 0564