Strengthening Animal Welfare

Labor supports strong animal welfare standards. We believe all animals should be treated humanely and that it is the responsibility of all governments, state and federal, to ensure that this is done.

To ensure the highest standards of animal welfare are maintained, governments and industry must remain vigilant and be guided by the best available science.

An Albanese Labor Government will provide $1 million a year to establish the office of the independent Inspector-General for Animal Welfare and increase accountability and transparency for reporting of animal welfare breaches. We will work with the State and Territory Governments and allocate $5 million over four years to renew the Animal Welfare Strategy.

The Inspector-General of Animal Welfare will strengthen reports to the Parliament on:

  • New and emerging live export markets.
  • The number of head exported and mortalities.
  • Any allegations of breaches of animal welfare standards and investigations undertaken.
  • Any sanctions or other action taken for breaches of Australia’s animal welfare standards.

Currently, only mortalities and actions taken in relation to those mortalities are reported on. We propose to increase transparency and reporting through these measures.

Labor remains committed to the Northern summer live sheep export trade ban based on the scientific evidence included in the draft report by the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment.  

The Morrison Government’s draft report has recommended that the Northern Hemisphere Summer ban on live sheep exports ban continue. Labor supports the continuation of the ban based on the evidence contained in the draft report. Despite this, the Morrison Government has flagged its intention to roll back the ban.   

Labor acknowledges the live sheep export trade is in decline and will phase out live sheep exports in consultation with the industry and the West Australian Government, including consideration of the impacts for the entire value chain of the industry.  Labor supports value adding more here in Australia and believes this will create more job opportunities. We do not believe setting a deadline on the industry is appropriate. Labor will not ban cattle exports. The scientific advice does not support a ban on cattle exports as long as strong animal welfare standards are in place.

An Albanese Government is committed to improving animal welfare through the measures outlined above. Increased reporting and transparency and an independent Inspector-General for Animal Welfare are critical to delivering that.