Australian Greens Senator for New South Wales and Animal Welfare Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, has today launched the Greens Plan for national animal cruelty laws.The Greens have obtained advice from the Parliamentary Library that the Commonwealth has the constitutional power to enact laws in a large number of areas.
Senator Faruqi has said that States and Territories had manifestly failed to protect animals. State and Territory based animal cruelty laws lack teeth and are not enforced effectively. Some are up to forty years old, making them massively out of date with community expectations. The Greens would establish a National Animal Cruelty Prevention Act that would introduce penalties for animal cruelty at a national level for the first time. These laws would be enforced by the Australian Federal Police in cooperation with animal protection organisations and State police.
As stated by Senator Faruqi
“States have failed to protect animals and the community is rightly sceptical of whether they are serious about stopping animal cruelty at all. When people are charged with animal cruelty the penalty pales in comparison to the crime. The community expects zero tolerance for animal abuse.
“Prime Minister Scott Morrison is very quick to condemn vegan protestors, but his Government has done nothing to stop suffering of animals.
“A key area where reform is needed we need reform is needed is farmed animals and livestock owned by companies. Our advice clearly states that the Commonwealth has the power to create laws that will protect them. Currently in most states and territories, farm animals can legally be subject to excruciatingly painful procedures. This has to end.
“The Greens are committed to ending factory farming and we would use these laws to end sow stalls, battery cages and other cruel practices that make the lives of farmed animals miserable.
“Animal welfare laws are wildly inconsistent across the country. For example, aggravated animal cruelty, where an animal is killed or seriously injured by cruelty, has a maximum penalty of seven years jail in Queensland, but just two years in New South Wales. Some of these laws were drafted up to forty years ago and are completely out of touch with community expectations and animal welfare needs.
“The Greens are listening to the community and taking action to reform our laws to protect animals,” she concluded.