Animal funds

Animal welfare groups welcome Senator Murray Watt as Australia’s new agriculture minister

The Australian Animal Alliance congratulates Senator Murray Watt on his appointment today as Australia’s new Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Animal Alliance policy director Dr Jed Goodfellow said Australia’s animal welfare sector was eager to work with Minister Watt to improve the country’s animal welfare record.

“Animal welfare is such an important part of the agriculture portfolio – millions of Australians care about how animals are treated and change is long overdue.

“The lack of national leadership on animal welfare over the past decade has impacted Australia’s international reputation, trade and market access, and the welfare of hundreds of million animals, while progress in revising national standards stalled under the previous government.

“We look forward to working with Minister Watt on delivering the full range of Labor policy commitments on animal welfare, including:

creation of an Inspector General of Animal Welfare with annual funding of $1 million

renew Australia’s Animal Welfare Strategy with funding of $5 million over four years, and

· phase out exports of live sheep.

“We know Australians will welcome these policies, especially the end of the cruel live sheep export trade, an outcome that will also create more jobs and value-added opportunities in Australia.”

A national poll conducted by Roy Morgan Research in March found that:

98% of Australians consider animal welfare important

94% support laws guaranteeing animals a good quality of life

74% support the creation of an independent body to monitor animal welfare

· 85% support animal welfare laws that reflect community expectations and the best available science.

The Labor government is also expected to find strong support for animal welfare policies in the new Parliament, with 13 of the 16 cross-members having already confirmed their support for an end to live sheep exports.

/Public release. This material from the original organization/authors may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors.