Animals - Greens (WA) Policy 2012

The Greens (WA) believe that:

  • animals are sentient beings with intrinsic worth
  • the welfare of animals must be respected with regard to both the survival of species and the protection of individual animals
  • humans and other animals are interdependent
  • humans have a responsibility to minimise any suffering of animals caused by human activities, and to maximise their quality of life


The Greens (WA) want:

  • to raise the status of animals and bring an end to their exploitation through community education and greater protection under the law
  • to implement the five basic freedoms1 for animals
  • the adoption of legally enforceable codes of practice to protect the welfare of animals used in agriculture
  • adequate resources to be provided for the inspection and prosecution of persons and businesses suspected of animal cruelty
  • cruel acts and practices against animals treated as serious crimes for corporate and private offenders
  • an end to inhumane farming practices such as undersized enclosures that restrict movement that are inconsistent with animals' natural behavioural needs (see also The Greens (WA) Agriculture policy)
  • to ban mutilation practices and promote humane alternatives
  • to ensure the humane transport of animals and the abolition of all live animal export industries where the animals are destined for slaughter
  • to ban genetic engineering of animals and oppose xenotransplantation2 (see also The Greens (WA) Genetic Modification policy)
  • to ban the use of genetically altered animals for food (see also The Greens (WA) Food policy)
  • an immediate ban on toxicology tests and experimentation which deliberately induces pain or distress in animals
  • all educational institutions to limit, and eventually phase out, the use of animal experimentation as a teaching method (see also The Greens (WA) Education policy)
  • the conservation of remaining natural habitat for native animals in Western Australia and in other countries
  • to promote compulsory clear labelling of products, listing animal ingredients and derivatives, and any animal experimentation and testing methods used
  • to work towards the abolition of any inhumane use or killing of animals for sport, recreation or entertainment
  • end the captivity and/or killing of animals solely to produce materials for the cosmetic and fashion industries


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

  • introduce humane education3 courses into school curricula to foster an attitude of respect for the rights, needs and protection of animals (see also The Greens (WA) Education policy)
  • implement and enforce an appropriate certification scheme for free-range, organic, humane and cruelty-free production systems
  • support public education to encourage people to reduce their consumption of animal-derived foods, in the interests of ecological integrity, human health and nonviolence
  • support 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 of such animals
  • replace the sale of animals from pet shops, markets and temporary facilities such as puppy farms with adoption programs from shelters and licensed breeders
  • ban the intentional breeding of animals for characteristics that cause suffering for the animal
  • redirect animal research dollars from government and industry towards research into, and the implementation of, alternatives to animal use
  • ensure proper scrutiny of current animal research
  • an end to any use of animals in circuses that is cruel or inhumane
  • oppose the keeping of animals in zoos where the animals are not kept for the purpose of conservation and if their normal behaviour is inhibited by unsuitable enclosures
  • promote the intrinsic value of wildlife and the right of native species to live freely in their natural environment (see also The Greens (WA) Biodiversity policy)
  • 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
  • develop effective and humane control of introduced animals to protect native habitats and native species
  • The precautionary principle4 must be employed when considering the importation of any new non-endemic species into Western Australia and the management of existing non-endemic populations

International obligations

  • ban the importation of animal-derived products produced by inhumane methods
  • advocate for more humane treatment of animals in other countries where inhumane practices occur


1. five freedoms – The five freedoms for animals are:

Freedom from hunger and thirst: by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.

Freedom from discomfort: by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.

Freedom from pain injury and disease: by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.

Freedom to express normal behaviour: by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.

Freedom from fear and distress: by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.

2. - xenotransplantation - the transplantation of living cells, tissues or organs from one species to another.

3. - 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.

4. - precautionary principle - states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking the action.

see also: Live Animal Export Discussion Paper