Inquiry Recommends Independent Animal Welfare Body
26 July 2016 at 11:43 am
Not for Profit group World Animal Protection has welcomed a Productivity Commission draft report which recommends a national independent body for animal welfare.
Head of campaigns for World Animal Protection Nicola Beynon said the recommendation of the Regulation of Australian Agriculture inquiry offers much needed reform.
“The system as it stands is not good enough – Australian animals, community expectations and industry needs all suffer under the current frameworks,” Beynon said.
“An independent body for animal welfare would redress a lack of national leadership and coordination, facilitate collaboration, and ensure community expectations for animal welfare are met.
“On behalf of a community that expects better and millions of Australian animals that deserve better, we have been campaigning for all sides of politics to support the creation of an Independent Office of Animal Welfare for 18 months.”
World Animal Protection also recommends that the body for animal welfare regulation could also provide independent oversight, monitoring and assessment of the live export regulatory system.
During the federal election campaign animal protection agencies campaigned hard for an independent animal welfare body.
Baynon said at the time that the next government, “must put animal welfare back on the national agenda, to treat it as an important matter of policy concern, which it is to the general population and to put back those national frameworks”.
“The model that we recommend which we think would be the most successful model to grow confidence in how government handles animal welfare would be an independent office of animal welfare,” she said.
“So it would be an independent statutory body that could advise responsible ministers, because animal welfare cuts across all portfolios not just agriculture, and it would advise responsible ministers on good sound animal welfare policy that’s based on science, that’s based on robust consultation between not just industry but the community as well and to deliver on everybody’s needs particularly the animals.”
The Productivity Commission has recommended that the Australian Government should take responsibility for ensuring that scientific principles guide the development of farm animal welfare standards.
“To do this, an independent body tasked with developing national standards and guidelines for farm animal welfare should be established,” the draft report said.
“The body should be responsible for determining if new standards are required and, if so, for managing the regulatory impact assessment process for the proposed standards. It should include an animal science and community ethics advisory committee to provide independent evidence on animal welfare science and research on community values.
The Commission said it is now is seeking feedback on:
- the most effective governance structure for an independent body tasked with assessing and developing standards and guidelines for farm animal welfare
- what the body’s responsibilities should include (and whether it should make decisions or recommendations and if the latter, to whom)
- what processes the body should use to inform and gauge community values on farm animal welfare
- how such a body should be funded.
Written submission are being taken until Thursday 18 August 2016.