When the Animal Justice Party is running in an election the question is often asked where will our preferences go?
Firstly it’s important to point out that voters are not compelled to follow any political party’s How To Vote card. A voter can vote 1 for the Animal Justice Party and then preference other parties in any order they choose.
However, we hope that many of our voters will follow our How to Vote card and support Clare Burns, the Labor candidate in the Northcote by-election.
There are many problems for animals in Victoria, and the government is responsible for many of them. They are far from perfect, and it is our role as the Animal Justice Party to highlight their legislations, structures and processes that result in animal cruelty. However, we do applaud their recent moves to improve animal welfare in Victoria which will include the following:
- The establishment of a dedicated Animal Welfare Group in the public service, with its own Executive Director, to coordinate efforts of animal welfare research, standard setting, policy and compliance. While this falls short of our call for an independent statutory authority to take on this role (an Independent Office of Animal Welfare), it is a good first step in that direction.
- The publication of an annual animal welfare report to systematically address strategic directions for animal welfare actions.
- The creation of an Animal Welfare Plan and the systematic and thorough re-drafting of high level animal welfare laws to replace the antiquated patchwork of laws that currently apply.
- A new round of financial grants to support animal welfare services and programs provided by not for profit organisations.
- The commitment to close down puppy mills and ensure that rescued animals are placed with good homes before commercially bred ones.
- The ending of the worst elements of breed specific dog laws and a halt on killing innocent animals of sanctioned breeds.
We note that Clare Burns is vegan and shares many of our views on the need to protect animals from the prevalent suffering that currently occurs. We believe she would be a positive advocate for animals within the Labor government.
The Greens also have many good animal policies, but currently appear to be missing the leverage or will to achieve legislative changes to stop animal cruelty.