ACT Government ignores proven non-lethal alternatives to cruel kangaroo killing

The ACT Government is continuing to ignore non-lethal alternatives to the unnecessary slaughter of thousands of kangaroos in public reserves in the nation’s capital.

National President of the Animal Justice, Party Professor Steve Garlick said today that the ACT Labor Government and the Greens had ignored calls to use well-researched and well-used non-lethal wildlife management practices instead of cruelly shooting, beheading and bashing to death the country’s national emblem.

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The 2016 Federal Budget and Animal Wellbeing

If ever there was a time when the interests of animals in this country needed to be represented in the Australian Parliament, it is now. Animal welfare rates scant mention in the Turnbull Government’s 2016 Budget, except to transfer responsibility to the states.

In this era of multi-lateral free trade agreements, the Animal Justice Party views this abrogation of responsibility for animal welfare by the Commonwealth as unacceptable, and economically unjustified. The responsibilities of the Commonwealth Government in animal welfare have now been watered down to virtually nothing.

Australia has become a huge exporter of live animals of all species, as well as the meat from Australia’s unique native macropods. The AJP believes this is totally unsatisfactory and calls for an independent office of animal welfare with powers of investigation and policing similar to the ACCC and ASIC.

We strongly oppose the funding of small exporter assistance to market kangaroo meat internationally. We also oppose the live trade in cattle and sheep, with its industry-determined animal welfare codes.

Animal cruelty in Australia continues on an epic scale, with the Budget offering nothing. Animals are affected by the activities of many Commonwealth Government portfolios, but none of the portfolio budget statements or ministerial statements talks about it. This government-sanctioned cruelty is Australia’s shame.

It is time there was a cross-portfolio focus on the impact the Government’s various activities have on animal wellbeing. Commonwealth portfolio initiatives and responsibilities in agriculture, trade, the environment, health, education, tourism and infrastructure development should be high on the list for early action.

The AJP welcomes further Budget support for plant-based agriculture, which we see as more ethical, healthy and environmentally responsible than lethal animal agriculture.

We also support ongoing initiatives in the Environment portfolio on the protection of specified marine animals and other threatened species, including in relation to their illegal trade. The AJP would however stress that the focus of rigorous protection needs to be extended to all Australian native animals via the EPBC Act, rather than to only a few species.

A crucial baseline in progress towards a smarter, more holistic and sustainable economy is to regard the use of animal cruelty to meet economic goals as unconscionable and without moral justification. Our view is that any politicians, institutions and enterprises supporting animal cruelty are ethically and morally diminished.

An approach to economic policy that values the capability and wellbeing of animals can generate greater national benefit for all. We propose an economic policy with wisdom, compassion, and fairness as guiding principles. These principles are absent in the economic policy narrative of the 2016 Budget, with its people- and animal-free mantra of labour productivity, innovation and aggregate demand.

Contact:

Professor Steve Garlick, President, Animal Justice Party. president@animaljusticeparty.org

 

Eurobodalla Shire Council favours guns and shooting over a culturally creative nature-based people’s festival

The Animal Justice Party said today it was astonished that Eurobodalla Shire Council had opted for a festival based on guns over the AJP’s innovative proposal promoting the region’s growing sustainable and creative businesses.

Professor Steve Garlick, President of the AJP, said that the organisation’s proposal would have brought a significant economic boost to the Shire.

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Support for animal cruelty potentially just got a whole lot worse with the changes to Senate voting arrangements

The Turnbull lead Coalition Government has an appalling record in its support for animal cruelty. In just a few months it has added further support to the live trade in farm animals, the grotesque kangaroo slaughter industry, and the overseas trade in greyhound dogs to name just three areas.

The changes to the voting system recently imposed upon us by the Liberal and Green alliance means this record on animal cruelty by the Australian Parliament may get a whole lot worse. Both of these parties believe it will increase their chances of having their own senators elected while smaller parties will be disadvantaged. The major parties already have a disproportionately greater number of Senate seats compared to their share of the overall vote, while smaller parties share of Senate seats is currently lower than their 20 percent share of the Senate vote.

The new changes mean voters have to number a minimum of six party-named boxes above the line. Alternatively, one can number at least 12 candidate-named boxes below the line. As so much confusion is expected in relation to the new system on Election Day, just one party box numbered above the line will be accepted to prevent a very high rate of informal vote.

Voting [1] for the AJP above the line will give animals a better chance in the decisions of the Australian Parliament then they have ever had before. The AJP:

  • is the only political party that has preventing animal cruelty as its central objective
  • is much larger than many of the other parties often referred to as micro parties
  • will gain enough votes to ensure major Parties will want to conclude preference deals with us to try and help their candidate gain the last Senate seat in the State. In exchange for this we will demand concessions for the animals
  • stands in lower as well upper house seats and there is no change in that voting system. By strategically targeting marginal lower house seats we will again be pressuring the major Parties to negotiate with us for the animals
  • will only highly preference other parties where we are convinced they support animal wellbeing in their policies and practices
  • was able to win a seat in NSW under a similar voting system, however it will be harder to do this federally as the percentage of votes required for a federal seat is greater than it is in NSW
  • has excellent Senate candidates and resources (esp. brilliant volunteers) to fight this election and are still in with a chance of winning seats.

AJP stands toe to toe against duck shooters in Victoria

Today, our party convenor in Victoria – Bruce Poon – is on the wetlands with many other AJP office bearers, members and supporters. If you’ve ever wondered how the Animal Justice Party is working to end this cruel slaughter, here’s a message from Bruce to explain:

The Coalition Against Duck Shooting (CADS) led by the redoubtable Laurie Levy have been on the wetlands rescuing wounded waterbirds for 30 years now. Laurie and the other people at CADS are thorough professionals, and have done fantastic work in saving lives, but also demonstrating to Victorians that this annual slaughter is cruel and unnecessary.
All of this campaigning over the years has led us to this point. The overwhelming majority of Victorians support a ban on duck shooting, the number of shooters is tiny (0.4% of the population), and yet the Government will still not ban it. Why?

Leading in to the Victorian State election of 2014, AJP made Duck Shooting, a matter of state legislation, one of our key campaigns. We had a number of meetings with the major parties to try and ensure a cessation, but with no result. Even as late as a few weeks before election day, we were still negotiating on the duck’s behalf with key ministers and Labor politicians in marginal seats. Even then, we were unable to budge the Labor party as a whole.

Despite getting MORE votes than the Shooters and Fishers party, we won zero seats in the upper house and they won 2, with the preference support of a range of small and major parties. They now hold 2 seats in the Legislative Council of 40. Labor hold 14, and require 21 votes on each bill.

This is the nub of the problem. If WE had won two seats, and the Shooters nil, Duck shooting would be over. But the Labor government requires Shooters and Fishers support in the Council for a range of initiatives. The Premier is reported to have had lunch with their MPs the day before a duck season was announced this year.

If we want to end the cruelty of duck shooting, and many other animal abuses, we must win for them a measure of power. Only parliamentary power, supported by the public, will see these campaigns won.

So this year, like so many others, many AJP members will be seen out on the wetlands of Victoria with CADS and other groups, rescuing ducks and trying to prevent suffering and death. Let’s hope that it sends the strongest possible message to the Government, and public outrage grows. But also remember to support our initiatives to grow the Animal Justice Party and win political power, because it is the ultimate strategic tool to achieve justice for all animals.

Season’s Greetings to all Animal Justice Party supporters

xmas-wombat

Rosie the lucky wombat, who is being rehabilitated by President Steve Garlick and his wonderful wife Rosemary

We would like to thank every Animal Justice Party member and supporter for helping to make 2015 such a successful year for the animals. Together we not only witnessed, but made history, with Australia being only the second country in the world to elect an animal representative to Parliament.

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International Meeting of Animal Political Parties

international-political-party-leadersNational President Steve Garlick and our NSW upper house member for the AJP Mark Pearson in November attended the fourth International Meeting of Animal Political Parties held in Tirana, Albania. The meeting was organised by the Animal Politics Foundation of the Dutch Party for the Animals (Partij voor de Dieren).

AJP National President Steve Garlick with Party Leader of the Dutch Party for the Animals Marianne Thieme

AJP National President Steve Garlick with Party Leader of the Dutch Party for the Animals Marianne Thieme

The meeting attracted 13 animal political parties from around the world and covered a range of topics that will benefit the AJP. Steve and Mark presented cases on the live trade in animals and the trade in kangaroo products. The meeting agreed there would be international collaboration among members to stamp out trade in both industries.
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Funding to Fight Domestic Violence 

companion animalsThe AJP recognises what an effective advocate for the victims of domestic violence, Australian of the Year Rosemary Batty is. We congratulate her on her success. The AJP will continue to advocate for all victims of unnecessary violence, regardless of species.

The AJP recommends that a significant portion of the one hundred million dollars, set aside by the Government to improve domestic violence services, be used for the provision of women’s refuges that accept companion animals. As many women’s refuges will not accept companion animals, victims of domestic violence sometimes delay leaving their abusers as they fear for the safety of their companion animals. The end result of this concern for the family pet often leads to disastrous outcomes for women, children and the animals. Many abusers deliberately threaten to harm the family pet to keep the victims in their easy reach.

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Australian Awareness Greyhound Walk

Australian Awareness Greyhound Walk June 21st 2015

The Animal Justice Party and the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds are jointly coordinating greyhound awareness walks. The walk is being held in various locations around the country – on the same day (see below). This year the walk is scheduled for Sunday 21st June and will be held around 10am.

This is a nationwide walk held to promote the greyhound as a companion dog, not a racing animal. The Australian Awareness Walk is anti-greyhound racing. We want the industry shut down.

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