The Andrews Labor Government is taking action to deliver more support for animal welfare and will establish a dedicated public sector group called Animal Welfare Victoria.
Animal Welfare Victoria will bring together all aspects of domestic animal and animal welfare research, policy, education and compliance.
It will be overseen by the Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development, Jaala Pulford, and will see animal welfare officers continue to operate through the RSPCA, Agriculture Victoria and local government.
Alongside these changes, the Government will also review the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act in close consultation with key stakeholders and the Victorian community replacing it with a modern animal welfare act in 2019.
The new act will recognise the sentience of animals, reflecting the strong evidence that exists showing animals fear and feel pain. This will ensure animal welfare management and legislation in Victoria develops to meet community expectations.
To support the delivery of these changes, the Labor Government’s Ambassador for Animal Welfare, Lizzie Blandthorn, will lead stakeholder engagement in the development of a new Animal Welfare Action Plan.
The Government will also commit to publishing an annual Animal Welfare report by Animal Welfare Victoria that outlines achievements, challenges and actions regarding better animal welfare outcomes in Victoria.
Animal Welfare Victoria is expected to be up and running by February 2018. It will deliver $500,000 in animal welfare grants to non-profit community organisations within its first year of operation.
These reforms build on the work of the Andrews Labor Government to end puppy farming, release the draft Animal Welfare Action Plan for community consultation, establish the role of the ambassador for animal welfare and provide additional funding to the RSPCA to improve domestic animal enforcement and compliance.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“All Victorians are committed to good animal welfare. We are working to deliver more effective and efficient animal welfare laws.”
“Whether it’s in our industries, in our communities, in our homes or in the wild, the community rightly expects we do the right thing by animals.”
“Animal Welfare Victoria will ensure that wherever animals are, their well-being and welfare is a priority.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020