Animals: The Greens (WA) Policy

The Greens (WA) acknowledge that animals are sentient beings with intrinsic worth separate to the needs of humans. The welfare of animals must be respected with regard to both the survival of species and the protection of individual animals. Humans have a responsibility to minimise any physical, psychological and emotional suffering of animals caused by human activities, and to maximize their quality of life. Environmental damage caused by industries using animals or animal products should be effectively controlled or eliminated.

The Greens (WA) are committed to raising the status of animals and to working towards ending their exploitation through community education and greater protection under the law.

Goals
The Greens (WA) want:

  • cruel acts and practices against animals treated as serious crimes for corporate and private offenders
  • an end to all intensive animal farming systems and regulations to ensure humane stocking densities
  • an end to the use of animals in medical, military and industrial research
  • the conservation of remaining natural habitat for native animals in Australia and in other countries

Initiatives
The Greens (WA) will initiate and support legislation and actions that:

Law reform

  • provide adequate resources for the inspection and prosecution of persons and businesses suspected of animal cruelty
  • replaces the status of animals as 'property' within current legislation to one of 'beings' with recognisable legal rights

Community education

  • promote community education on the needs of animals and our responsibility to minimise any physical, psychological and emotional suffering of animals caused by human activities, and to maximize their quality of life
  • introduce humane education (1) courses into school curricula to foster an attitude of respect for the rights, needs and protection of animals

Animals used for education

  • support education policies that encourage alternative methods of teaching animal biology and physiology
  • require all educational institutions to provide non-animal alternatives for course work, where they exist, and ensure that students are aware that these alternatives are available
  • require all educational institutions to limit, and eventually phase out, the use of animal experimentation as a teaching method

Animals used for food and other products

  • phase out intensive farming practices in meat, dairy and egg production
  • work towards an appropriate certification scheme for free-range, organic and cruelty-free labelling systems
  • ban mutilation practices and promote humane alternatives
  • ensure the humane transport of animals and abolish all live animal export industries where the animals are destined for slaughter
  • ban the use of genetically altered animals for food
  • support the adoption of legally enforceable codes of practice to protect the welfare of animals used in agriculture
  • end the captivity and killing of animals for the cosmetic and fashion industries, including the use of fur and skins
  • support and develop sustainable farming practices that cause the least impact on animal habitat
  • support public education to encourage people to reduce their consumption of animal-derived foods, in the interests of ecological integrity, human health and nonviolence

Animals as companions

  • introduce compulsory and subsidised sterilisation of all cats and dogs, with exceptions for licensed breeders
  • support local government authorities in establishing and maintaining universal registration of companion animals
  • support the adoption of unclaimed impounded animals, while developing adequately-funded programs of 'no-kill' shelters for rehabilitation and re-homing such animals
  • ban the sale of animals from pet shops
  • restrict the selective breeding of animals for characteristics that are harmful to themselves or others
  • encourage people not to keep companion animals unless the area where they live has appropriate facilities, such as off-leash areas for dogs, adequate signage and facilities for disposal of waste

Animals used for research

  • ban toxicology tests and experimentation which deliberately induces pain or distress in animals
  • ban genetic engineering of animals and oppose xenotransplantation (2)
  • ensure proper scrutiny of current animal research and avoid duplication by setting up a national register of research projects with public right of access to all information
  • redirect animal research dollars (from government and industry) towards research and implementation of alternatives to animal use, and to fund preventive medicine programs
  • require alternative methods to animal experimentation and testing to be used wherever they exist
  • promote compulsory clear labelling of products, listing animal ingredients and derivatives, and any animal experimentation and testing methods used

Animals used for sport and entertainment

  • work towards the abolition of rodeos, greyhound racing, horse racing, recreational hunting and other inhumane uses of animals for sport, recreation or entertainment
  • ban the use or display of wild animals, and phase out the use of domesticated animals, in circuses or other performance venues
  • oppose the keeping of animals in zoos where the animals are not kept for the purpose of conservation and if their natural behaviour is inhibited by unsuitable enclosures

Native animals

  • promote the intrinsic value of wildlife and the right of native species to live freely in their natural environment
  • protect, restore and extend remaining habitats, preserving biodiversity and maintaining ecological balance
  • create incentives for property owners to establish linked wildlife corridors
  • comprehensively review current legislation to better protect native animals
  • appoint an independent advisory body to address issues of wildlife management including introduced free-ranging species management; and
  • oppose any inhumane commercialisation of wildlife

Introduced animals

  • develop effective and humane control of introduced animals to protect native habitats and native species
  • promote non-lethal methods of wildlife control, such as exclusion fencing
  • prevent the accidental or deliberate introduction of further species of domestic animals or wild animals, including marine and riverine species, to Australia from overseas

International obligations

  • ban the importation of animal-derived products produced by inhumane methods
  • strengthen support for the CITES (3) ban on the importation of products derived from endangered animal species, such as shark fins, whale products, tiger bone, rhino powder and bear paws
  • advocate for more humane treatment of animals in other countries where inhumane practices occur
  • support a ban on commercial whaling and support further investigation of the impact of high frequency sonar and seismic testing in Australian coastal waters.

Glossary

(1) Humane education fosters curiosity, creativity and critical thinking, and instils respect and responsibility by approaching human rights, environmental preservation, and animal protection as interconnected and integral dimensions of a healthy, just society.

(2) Xenotransplantation – the transplantation of living cells, tissues or organs from one species to another

(3) CITES - The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.