Australian Greens Senator and Animal Welfare spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi has called on the Government to commit to recognising veterinary and animal care, rescue and protection services as essential services during the COVID-19 public health crisis. With vets and animal welfare organisations in urgent need of clarity from the Government about their ability to operate under future restrictions and lockdowns, the Government now must declare these services essential.
Senator Faruqi said:
“The community needs a guarantee that vets and animal care and protection services will continue to operate during any lockdown.
“Animals will continue to need attention, rescuing, rehabilitation and care, and many will need a safe place to be fed in and taken care of. They cannot be abandoned.
“Animal carers put their heart and soul into looking after our furry friends and should be given all the support they need to continue their animal welfare work.
“Animals must not be forgotten about during this public health crisis. We cannot permit a situation in which animals are put at risk of dying.
“In times of crisis, animals are especially vulnerable to being abandoned or neglected. Their welfare must not be ignored.
“The health benefits for humans of having safe and healthy animals in their lives are enormous. This is particularly true during distressing times, and for more vulnerable populations where social contact may already be limited.
“The government needs to recognise these services as essential and make it crystal clear that they are not going to be forced to close.”