More success for the AJP this week

Three important results in the last week demonstrate the Animal Justice Party is on a successful roll to get better outcomes for animals in Australia.

While counting for the Senate in the Federal Election is continuing, the AJP will almost double its vote from the 2013 election to around 190,000.  The AJP increased its vote in every jurisdiction at the recent election. In Victoria the AJP is trending sixth out of 37 parties behind the three majors, Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation.  We have the fifth highest percentage growth in votes in that state.  An excellent result and still in with a chance to pick up one of two remaining senate positions there.

In the lower house, the AJP obtained more than 4 percent of the vote in three seats (with one of these being close to 5 percent) and another four gained more than 3 percent. In many lower house seats we were the party with the fourth largest vote behind Labor, Liberal and the Greens. In some booths the AJP captured five and six percent of the vote. In several seats AJP preferences influenced the final outcome. Running candidates in the lower house is great for local brand recognition.

Over the coming weeks we will have an independent post-election review of all aspects of our structure and operation that will draw on the experiences of candidates and supporters as well as mining the available election result data.

Ever since an ABC Four Corners report on the greyhound racing industry,  the AJP has been campaigning nationally, including within the NSW Parliament and with other organisations, to ban the industry because of its gross animal cruelty. Following a special investigation into the industry by Justice Michael McHugh, NSW Premier Mike Baird announced that a ban on the industry would come into effect in NSW on 1 July 2017. The ACT Government announced it would also impose a ban on the greyhound racing industry.

Finally, at the end of last week the AJP gained registration as a political party in the ACT.  The AJP is now registered in four jurisdictions throughout Australia.  The AJP will compete in the elections for the ACT Legislative Assembly in October this year. It is also likely the AJP will stand candidates in local council elections later this year in NSW and Victoria.


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:

  • 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:

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.




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


Animal Justice Party candidate for Eden-Monaro, Frankie Seymour, has called on the Australian government, whatever parties comprise it after the July election, to take the lead in working to obliterate what she calls ‘Australia’s killing culture’.

Outraged by the ACT government’s announcement last week of yet another slaughter of kangaroos on ACT reserves, Ms Seymour says:

‘Once again the ACT government has ordered this cruel slaughter, based on nothing resembling science, without any monitoring or evaluation to determine what impact the killing is having on either the kangaroos themselves or the native species which depend on the kangaroos to maintain their grassland habitats.

‘Yet the government’s own slaughter is just one of many licenses (83 in 2015) issued for shooting kangaroos in the ACT.

‘In NSW, indeed across the whole country, it’s even worse, with both farmers and commercial shooters rapidly driving various kangaroo species down the road to extinction.’

The killing does not stop with kangaroos, Ms Seymour adds, noting that the NSW government has recently decided to slaughter thousands of brumbies in the Snowy Mountains. Ms Seymour asserts:

‘They know that to make their target residual population of 600 brumbies stick they will have to go on slaughtering thousands or millions of wild horses in perpetuity.

‘And brumbies are just the latest in a long list of naturalised species being persecuted throughout the country, including wild dogs, cats, foxes, pigs, rabbits and deer. Some of the methods for killing these animals are even more cruel than shooting.’

Ms Seymour claims that mass shooting animals of any kind is invariably cruel.

‘There are always some who are wounded and die a terrible death. There are always young animals orphaned. There is always disruption and distress caused to the survivors.

‘But there are even worse killing methods than shooting in use for many of these other naturalised animals – 1080 and other poisons, as well as germ warfare against rabbits. These methods cause excruciatingly painful and lingering death in every single case, whereas shooting at least has some hope of bringing about instantaneous death.’

Ms Seymour claims that ’managing’ animals by killing them is neither necessary nor effective. She points out that every time you kill a wild animal, you get several more of the same species filling the empty niche, as younger, more fertile individuals are born of the survivors.

‘So killing these animals actually ensures you get more of them, at least for a while until the population stabilises around the same level it was before you “managed” it. So all you’ve done is made the problem, if there ever was a problem, worse.’

Ms Seymour says that, if there really is a problem with any naturalised wild animal species, the only effective solution is fertility control.

‘Thankfully, fertility control, as long as it is conducted sensibly, is also the only humane solution – if there really is a problem.

‘But fertility control is not an appropriate solution for kangaroos, who are not naturalised but native animals, because kangaroos are very slow breeders and are already in steep decline. Fertility control will only hasten that decline.

‘On the other hand, it might be a more humane road to extinction than the one our kangaroos are enduring at the moment – if Australians really want their national emblem to become extinct.’

Coming back to the issue of whether either kangaroos or naturalised species really are a problem requiring ‘management’, Ms Seymour responds:

‘Kangaroos are simply not a problem. They were managing the environment in Australia long before even the Indigenous humans arrived, and will continue to do so if we can only let go of our gun-happy culture.

‘With naturalised species like cats, horses, pigs etc, the issue is more complicated. Once a species has found a niche in the ecosystem, it is impossible to remove it in large numbers without doing harm to that ecosystem, sometimes more harm than good. In a rapidly changing environment, as Australia’s has been for the last 200 years, the harm of removing any naturalised animal is very likely to exceed the good.’

Ms Seymour cites the simple but high-profile example of wiping out the feral cats on Macquarie Island. She explains:

‘On the mainland, it is virtually impossible to completely wipe out any fast-breeding species. So killing them just guarantees an increase, rather than a decrease in the population.

‘However, it is possible to wipe out all members of a species on an off-shore island because (if it occurs at all) recruitment from outside is much slower than on the mainland.

‘On Macquarie Island, the government hoped to protect some of the endangered seabirds by killing all the cats.

‘Without cats to prey on the rats, the rats became much more of a danger to the seabirds (eating their eggs) than the cats had ever been!

‘And how does the Australian government respond to this new threat? Let’s kill all the rats now!

‘Still absolutely no consideration of how yet another ham-fisted human incursion is going to resonate down the food-chain!’

Ms Seymour’s conclusion is that Australia’s whole killing culture has to stop in its tracks.

‘The vast majority of Australian people are compassionate, civilised people who want the killing to stop. Most of us also recognise the link between violence against animals and violence against humans.

‘We know in our bones that none of us is safe while guns, poisons and diseases are considered an acceptable way of solving our problems.’

For interviews and further information contact Frankie Seymour on 0405 252 980.

Authorised by Anna Hall, Animal Justice Party NSW


A decision by Federal Minister for Environment Greg Hunt to use his ‘national interest’ power to harm a large colony of flying foxes highlights the desperate need for a voice for animals in the national Parliament according to Frankie Seymour. Ms Seymour is standing for the Animal Justice Party in the bellwether electorate of Eden-Monaro in the July federal election.

Ms Seymour has weighed into this issue ‘because it is the clearest possible example of why the Animal Justice Party must run candidates for seats in the federal Parliament.’

At a meeting of Batemans Bay residents on 16 May 2016, Minister Hunt announced that he had used his ‘national interest’ discretionary power to exempt the grey-headed flying-fox from all the protections of the Commonwealth government. The grey-headed flying-fox is listed as a vulnerable ‘species of national environmental significance’ under the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Mr Hunt’s decision allows Eurobodalla Council to remove a large local colony of flying-foxes by any means they choose (even fire). The decision has been announced in the absence of any information suggesting a change in the actual vulnerability status of the grey-headed flying fox.

‘As if that weren’t bad enough, the decision appears to have been made during the caretaker period when no decision of national significance should ever be made by a halfway responsible government,’ Ms Seymour notes.

The Eurobodalla Council had already financed and published a plan for dispersing the flying-foxes. The plan concludes that dispersing the colony would be both costly and risky to the public. The plan recommends that, if dispersal is to be undertaken, it should take place at a different time of year when overall numbers are lower, and there are fewer dependent young present. This approach would not only reduce the suffering of the animals but also the risks and costs to residents.

Hunt’s decision to remove the protection from these animals gives the Council permission to destroy the colony in any way they like. It is utterly disgusting,’ Ms Seymour said. ‘The Minister appears to have taken this outrageous action for no other reason than to buy the votes of a few residents of Batemans Bay who fail to appreciate that they live in a part of Australia where the flying foxes are a keystone native species.

‘Any loss of a significant population could be the last straw for a vulnerable species. If this large colony of flying foxes is destroyed, it could ultimately spell extinction for the whole species, and that will cause ripples right through the ecosystem, impacting on numerous other species of plant and animals – species the residents might well regard more highly than the flying foxes.’

‘The fact that a Commonwealth Minister can make a decision that puts so many animal lives in danger and threatens them with such extreme suffering shows in no uncertain terms how desperately we need a voice for animal justice in the federal Parliament.’

For interviews and further information contact Frankie Seymour on 0405 252 980.

Authorised by Anna Hall, Animal Justice Party NSW

Animal Justice Party Targets Federal Marginal Seats

Actor and pioneering animal rights activist Lynda Stoner is one of 54 candidates standing for the Animal Justice Party in the coming federal election.

Ms Stoner will stand for the Senate in New South Wales. In addition to contesting the Senate the AJP will stand around 42 lower house candidates. Sixty five per cent of AJP candidates are women.

National AJP President Professor Steve Garlick said today, “With a double dissolution election, the AJP has a reasonable chance of picking up the last Senate seat in NSW and in Victoria and by targeting marginal lower house seats we aim to influence the outcome of the entire election.”

Professor Garlick stated the AJP aimed to stop animal cruelty. “We need to restore the balance between the human, natural and animal worlds and to examine the potential impact on animals of government actions at all levels,” he said.

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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.


Professor Steve Garlick, President, Animal Justice Party.