The AJP considers Australia’s land clearing rates to be both an environmental and animal welfare disaster. We propose to reverse land clearing by addressing the underlying causes.
Animal agriculture is overwhelmingly the largest cause of land clearing across Australia. For example, in Queensland, 93% of cleared land is used for pasture. Other significant drivers (within the remaining 7 percent) are urban development, forestry and mining.
Environmentally, land clearing destroys viable habitat for vulnerable and at-risk animal populations. Clearing also increases soil salinity and is a primary cause of greenhouse gas emissions. Soil erosion from land clearing detrimentally affects waterways and oceans; threatening the Great Barrier Reef especially.
The AJP recognises land clearing not just as a biodiversity and climate change issue, but also as an animal rights and welfare issue. Every year millions of animals die from the destruction of habitat. Animals are injured and die during tree felling with many more dying afterwards from exposure; dehydration; starvation; increased predation; and traffic. Even if they don’t die, animals who are displaced will end up pushed into an unsuitable or reduced area.
- An immediate cessation of all land clearing associated with animal agriculture.
- To introduce habitat protection as a fundamental and consistent planning principle in all regions and sectors.
- Amend state-based animal welfare legislation to include an enforceable duty of care towards animals on a landholder’s property during all land use changes.
- Labelling on products containing palm oil so that consumers can avoid them.