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.