THE WHIS­PERER

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PETS -

IN 2011, the Fed­eral Govern­ment com­mit­ted to set­ting up an offi ce of an­i­mal wel­fare, of­fer­ing greater pro­tec­tion to an­i­mals.

The fo­cus was to be live­stock, com­pan­ion an­i­mals and wildlife.

The offi ce was to run in­de­pen­dently of other govern­ment de­part­ments and min­is­ters whose role it is to work closely with stake­hold­ers in live ex­port and other fac­tory farm­ing op­er­a­tions.

An an­i­mal wel­fare offi ce is recog­ni­tion that an­i­mal wel­fare needs to be man­aged in­de­pen­dently of in­dus­try, be­cause of the confl ict that ex­ists when an­i­mal suf­fer­ing is mea­sured against hu­man in­ter­est.

Two years have passed and still the In­de­pen­dent Offi ce of An­i­mal Wel­fare isn’t op­er­at­ing and still an­i­mals aren’t be­ing ad­e­quately pro­tected.

With the elec­tion com­ing up, the fate of this offi ce is un­cer­tain.

The offi ce has real po­ten­tial to im­prove the lives of an­i­mals and is sorely needed in light of se­ri­ous and on­go­ing an­i­mal suf­fer­ing within the live-ex­port in­dus­try.

Re­cently, the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture, Fish­eries and Forestry as­sessed footage of the cruel mis­treat­ment of an­i­mals in Egyp­tian feed­lots.

DAFF said the prac­tices were clearly “not com­pli­ant with in­ter­na­tional an­i­mal wel­fare stan­dards”.

The Fed­eral Govern­ment’s Ex­porter Sup­ply Chain As­sur­ance Sys­tem, im­ple­mented af­ter the June 2011 sus­pen­sion of live cat­tle ex­ports to In­done­sia, doesn’t hold in Egypt.

A chasm re­mains be­tween the govern­ment’s claim to place an­i­mal wel­fare at the core of the ex­port trade and the re­al­ity of an­i­mal abuse at its most bru­tal.

Po­lit­i­cal par­ties need en­cour­age­ment to make the op­er­a­tion of an In­de­pen­dent Offi ce of An­i­mal Wel­fare a re­al­ity and give an­i­mals a bet­ter chance of pro­tec­tion.

Show your sup­port for an an­i­mal wel­fare offi ce by writ­ing to Prime Min­is­ter Ju­lia Gil­lard, Joe Lud­wig and sign­ing the pe­ti­tion at awla.com.au/awlain- ac­tion/ cam­paigns/ join- our- pe­ti­tion/ Anne Box­hall is the ex­ec­u­tive offi cer for An­i­mal Wel­fare League Aus­tralia.

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