Greens MLC Tammy Franks has introduced a Bill in the state’s Upper House to create an Independent Office of Animal Welfare in South Australia, which will ensure independent oversight and review of animal welfare laws.
Animal Welfare is currently managed by a complex web of government departments, charities, councils, police, and industry groups. Advocacy groups have also repeatedly raised their concerns that the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) and the Department of Environment and Water (DEW) view improvements in animal welfare as inconsistent with increased productivity and profitability.
The Bill will also create an advisory committee comprising of representatives of non-government animal welfare organisations, replacing the current process where representatives from the livestock industry and PIRSA review and comment on animal welfare enforcement.
The move comes as the Government undertakes a once in a generation review of the Animal Welfare Act.
Quotes attributable to Greens Animal Welfare Spokesperson Tammy Franks MLC:
“Nobody would put a fox in charge of a hen house, yet we put industry in charge of its own regulations when it comes to animal welfare.”
“The assortment of departments, charities, industry groups, and other authorities responsible for animal welfare is an absolute quagmire. It is abundantly clear that SA needs a single independent statutory body responsible for animal welfare and protection.”
“People care about animal welfare, no matter if the animal is a pet, is farmed, or raced, and they all deserve protection form abuse. Unless the Parliament acts to create an independent body, many animals will not have the protections the community expects.