An independent Office of Animal Welfare is needed now more than ever, given the Abbott government's support for legislation that will prosecute vets, journalists, animal protection groups and other members of the public who uncover and expose animal cruelty, Greens spokesperson for animal welfare Senator Rhiannon said.
"The newly introduced Greens' bill for an independent Office of Animal Welfare will set up an independent statutory authority with the responsibility for reviewing, advising and promoting the protection of animal welfare in Commonwealth regulated activities," said Senator Rhiannon.
"The Labor plan to reinstate the Inspector General of Animal Welfare and Live Animal Exports is beholden to the whims of the Agriculture Minister. And this body allows the failed Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS), which has not stopped the horrific abuse of animals, to continue.
"By comparison, the Office of Animal Welfare is an independent statutory authority and will hold the Agriculture Minister and the industry to account on issues of animal welfare.
"I am calling on the Labor party to support this bill so we can strengthen animal welfare at the federal level.
"This Office is an urgent priority as there is a push by Liberal and National MPs around the country to bring in ag-gag bills that would limit public exposure of animal cruelty. The Office is also needed as the Abbott government is moving for the live export trade to open new markets despite the mounting evidence of cruelty in overseas abattoirs.
"I will continue to work with animal welfare groups and the tens of thousands of Australians who are horrified by continuing animal abuse in Australia and overseas markets to hold Labor to account on their commitment to animal welfare," said Senator Rhiannon.
Contact Brami Jegan 0487 350 880