The Andrews Labor Government has released Victoria’s first ever Animal Welfare Action Plan.
The extensive Plan covers all animals, including pets, livestock, native animals, aquatic animals, those for research and teaching, and animals in tourism and recreation.
The Plan recognises the sentience of animals, reflecting strong evidence that animals experience sensations such as pleasure, comfort, fear and pain.
The Action Plan was developed in consultation with the Victorian community and reflects extensive public and industry feedback on the Draft Action Plan, which received more than 600 submissions.
The Action Plan sets four priority areas:
- A policy and legal framework that safeguards and improves animal welfare in Victoria
- Collaboration that advances and promotes investment in animal welfare
- Education and communication that improves attitudes, knowledge, skills and compliance
- Compliance and enforcement that is efficient and effective.
The Animal Welfare Action Plan aims to protect Victoria’s reputation as a humane and responsible producer of food and fibre. It promotes actions to maintain market access and consumer confidence in Victoria’s $6.7 billion a year livestock industries.
The Plan commits to a public review and overhaul of Victoria’s outdated thirty-year old Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Consultation with community and industry will commence later this year.
The Animal Welfare Action Plan was developed with the support of Victoria’s Animal Welfare Advisory Committee. A new chairperson was also announced today with the appointment of Professor Ronald Slocombe, a veterinary specialist with over 25 years’ experience in pathology and academia.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“The Animal Welfare Action Plan sets a new benchmark for animal welfare that reflects community expectations around how animals are treated.”
“We know Victorians care about animal welfare and so does the Andrews Labor Government. We’re overhauling our thirty-year old outdated legislation, bringing it into line with community and industry expectations.”
Quotes attributable to the Ambassador for Animal Welfare Lizzie Blandthorn
“Consultation on the Draft Action Plan identified strong support for its initiatives. I look forward to working with industry and the community to implement the Animal Welfare Action Plan.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020