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Law to Recognise Animals as Sentient Beings

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Tags: Animal Welfare, Legislation

That this House notes:

1.      The online campaign ‘Xena’s Law’ which seeks to petition Federal Agriculture Minister, Barnaby Joyce, to enact legislation which would recognise animals are sentient beings;

2.      That to recognise, in law, that animals are sentient beings will be “… to state explicitly that they can experience both positive and negative emotions, including pain and distress”;

3.      That to date the online petition has collected almost 1,000 signatures;

4.      That the campaign was initiated by Australian woman, Rawena Tairi, after she sadly made the decision to have her pet cat ‘Xena’ euthanased after 18 years of companionship;

5.      That the public’s expectations of their representatives regarding animal welfare have changed rapidly and vastly, due not only to the surge in social media, but also as a result of our way of life;

6.      That Australia now has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the World, with approximately 63 per cent of households providing residence to at least one animal;

7.      That there are an estimated 4.2 million pet dogs, 3.3 million pet cats, and a massive 8.1 million pet birds nationwide, with over 1 million other pets of varying species;

8.      That with well over half the households in Australia housing one or more pets, it is certainly time they were recognised by law as having the right to live lives free from pain and exploitation; and

Further, calls on this House:

9.      To take the lead in progressive animal welfare practices by committing tripartite support to recognise animals as sentient beings with State legislation, and to committing support for any like proposal by the federal government.