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Greens Table Bill to Strengthen Animal Rights

16 Sep 2018

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader and Spokesperson for Animal Welfare

Tasmania’s animal welfare laws fail to protect the rights of animal to live free from cruelty and neglect, placing a heavy, disproportionate emphasis on the profits of industry. 

In Parliament this week, the Greens will table an amendment Bill to strengthen the Animal Welfare Act 1993. A copy of the Bill is attached.

Over the past five years, the Liberals have taken the welfare of native and domestic animals backwards at a disturbing pace.

Since forming government in 2014, the Liberals reversed the ban on 1080 poison and the funded phase out of battery hen farming, policies driven by the Greens in government.

They have underfunded the RSPCA inspectorate and DPIPWE’s animal welfare enforcement capacity.

And despite overwhelming evidence of barbaric cruelty in greyhound racing, the Liberals still support and subsidise the industry.

When minor changes to the Act were debated in 2015, then Minister Rockliff promised a second set of amendments in line with the advice of the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (AWAC).

Mr Rockliff failed to deliver on his promise and in Parliament recently, his successor, Minister Sarah Courtney, walked away from this commitment.

AWAC recommended the mental suffering of animals subject to cruelty be recognised in the Act. But when the Greens moved for this in Parliament both the Liberals and Labor voted it down.

We believe the Labor and Liberal parties are well out of step with community expectations. Tasmanians are demanding laws to better protect the intrinsic rights of animals.

Our Animal Welfare (Reformation) Bill 2018 would end the cruelty of greyhound racing, the use of pronged collars on dogs, battery hen farming, sow stalls and rodeos.

It also specifically recognises the mental suffering of creatures subject to cruelty and abuse.

This is in line with contemporary understandings of animal behaviours and an evolving ethical framework that recognises animal rights.

We look forward to debate on the Bill in the new year.