Not sure about you but I’m feeling particularly fed up with politics at the moment. The whole thing seems to be little more than a game of strategy being played by power-hungry people who lack integrity. There is some good news on the political front, however, and that is that there is now a political party devoted solely to the cause of protecting the rights and improving the welfare of animals. And if you live in NSW you can vote for them at the upcoming election this weekend.
The Animal Justice Party (AJP) was established in 2011 with the goal of bringing issues relating to non-human animals to the forefront of the political arena. It is the first political party in Australia formed with the primary purpose of advancing animal rights issues. According to the AJP charter:
“The Animal Justice Party has been formed as a response to growing public concern about the neglect of animals and animal protection issues by political parties. It will give a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves. It will provide a focal point for voters frustrated by the lack of political action and who feel strongly that much more needs to be done through our parliamentary systems to assist the wellbeing of animals. There is a need for laws and processes which recognise animals’ needs and capabilities and which protect their interests, whether they are domestic, farmed or wild. The Animal Justice Party will also ensure such laws and processes are properly enforced and implemented to achieve genuine justice for animals.”
The AJP has policies relating to a series of issues affecting animals including farming, greyhound racing, kangaroos animal experimentation and more, all of which can be viewed on their website http://animaljusticeparty.org/. There you’ll also information about how they intend to go about achieving their goals once elected.
How to vote for the Animal Justice Party
The following image shows you how to cast your vote for the AJP in the Legislative Council at the NSW election this weekend. Residents in the electorates of Newtown, Balmain, Lismore, Lake MacQuarie and Swansea will also be able to cast their vote for AJP candidates in the lower house. The AJP is going from strength to strength so let’s hope they manage to succeed this time around.
What about the other parties?
We took a quick look at the websites of the Greens, Labor and Liberal to see what they’re offering on the animal front and here’s what we found:
The Greens have a good track record when it comes to issues of animal welfare and protection. They have been vocal in their opposition to live animal exports and have attempted to pass legislation that would make food labeling more transparent, so that if for example eggs were labeled free range there would be a clear definition of what this meant.
They have a very extensive policy on animal welfare (see http://nsw.greens.org.au/policies/nsw/animals), which covers a wide range of issues including native animals, farm animals, companion animals and animals used in research and for entertainment.
Labor has formulated a 10 Point Animal Welfare Plan which according to their website “…will crackdown on animal cruelty, because a civilised society not only cares for its people but also ensures animals are treated humanely.”
Under the Plan Labor claims it will:
- Ban large scale puppy farms in NSW
- Limit the amount of litters in a breeding dog’s lifetime to five
- Phase out the sale of puppies from pet shops over five years
- Ensure humane practices for the euthanasia of animals at breeding facilities
- Support a Special Commission of Inquiry into the greyhound industry
- Initiate a review of the effectiveness of current compliance
- arrangements for all aspects of NSW animal welfare regulation and law.
- Advocate for nationally consistent definitions and standards for ‘free-range’ food labelling
- Make CCTV mandatory in abattoirs
- Protect Koalas
- Protect marine life
- Expand and protect National Parks
- Combat wildlife crime
- Support voluntary wildlife carers
The Liberal Party has a policy regarding responsible pet ownership and say they will:
- Streamline the registration system for dogs and cats in NSW by creating a one-step ‘real time’ online register.
- Introduce 50% discounted registration fees for dogs and cats obtained from eligible pounds or animal shelters.
- Provide $2 million for the RSPCA NSW Education Centre – a multi functional training hub which will be home to the RSPCA Academy in Western Sydney.
They also have a policy relating to the protection of threatened species in NSW.
So this weekend make your vote count and as always, please remember to consume with care!