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: Labor moves to strengthen animal welfare in WA 2.4.2012
: WA Export News April 02, 2012, 02:13:02 PM
Labor Leader Mark McGowan will today launch Labor’s discussion paper on improving animal welfare in Western Australia.

Mr McGowan said the Strengthening Animal Welfare In Western Australia paper, written by Member for Maylands Lisa Baker, reaffirmed WA Labor’s commitment to animal welfare.

“In 2002 the Gallop Labor Government proclaimed the Animal Welfare Act containing some of the harshest penalties for animal cruelty in the country,” Mr McGowan said.

“Despite increased community demand for better protection for animals, no new steps to strengthen or expand the scope of animal welfare legislation had been taken since 2002.”

“The issue of animal welfare extends much further than protecting animals from cruelty and ensuring that animals bred for eggs, milk and meat are treated humanely.

“As more information becomes available that shows how animals are treated, Western Australians are demanding higher standards and better protection for both companion and stock animals.

“The connection between animal cruelty and violence to humans is well documented, as are the benefits of companion animals to human wellbeing.

“It is crucial that the animal welfare system is sufficiently funded and underpinned by a strategic policy framework.”

Mr McGowan said Labor’s discussion paper made a number of recommendations including:

Establishment of an Animal Welfare Administration Board to have oversight and inquire into matters of animal welfare;

A review the Animal Welfare Act 2002 with terms of reference to include fully funding the Animal Welfare Unit and separating it from the Department of Agriculture and Food;

Provision of appropriate interventions for juveniles who are caught being cruel to animals;

Working with industry associations to develop a code of practice for pet shops that sell animals;

Introduction of a properly standardised and regulated ‘truth in labelling’ food labelling system which clearly and unambiguously identified foods that had been humanely produced; and

Working with overseas trade offices to promote new markets for chilled and processed meat and with the Commonwealth to promote chilled meat from animals humanely transported and slaughtered in Australia.

Member for Maylands Lisa Baker said the Barnett Government had shown a serious lack of understanding or concern on the issue of animal welfare.

“Volunteer groups are forced to play an increasing role in monitoring animal welfare due to the lack of funding and support from the Barnett Government,” she said.

“After 10 years the legislation is due for review to further improve protection for animals.” 

Mr McGowan said the discussion paper would guide WA Labor’s policy development ahead of the 2013 State election.

“We want to hear from Western Australians concerned about animal welfare so we can incorporate their ideas and suggestions into future policy formation,” he said.

Copies of Labor’s discussion paper are available at www.walaborleader.org.au 

Media contact: Steve Kaless 0417 306 221

MARK MCGOWAN MLA – LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT; ECONOMIC REFORM; PUBLIC SECTOR MANAGEMENT

Jordyn Rados

Communications Advisor
Mark McGowan MLA – WA Labor Leader
Ph: (08) 9222 7460 mob: 0409 111 905

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jordyn.rados@loop.wa.gov.au

www.walaborleader.org.au