Polling puts animal welfare on agenda for federal election

The Australian Greens MPs

Opinion polling of 1,052 Australians commissioned by the Greens and conducted by Lonergan Research has found Australians are overwhelmingly concerned about animal welfare and supportive of key animal welfare policies ahead of the next federal election. Crucially, strong animal welfare policies can impact voting intention.

Quick statistics:

  • 4 in 5 of respondents (80%) are concerned about animal welfare, with 42% being at least ‘very concerned’.
  • 46% of voters are more likely to vote for a candidate with strong animal welfare policies.
  • 59% of respondents support a ban on live animal export.
  • 54% of respondents support a ban on greyhound racing.
  • 55% of respondents agree that racing animals like horses and greyhounds for gambling and entertainment is cruel.
  • 68% of respondents agree we need stronger animal welfare standards for farm animals.

Key findings and background:

The nationally representative poll found that 80% of Australians are concerned about animal welfare, with 42% being ‘very concerned’ or ‘extremely concerned’. 46% of voters are more likely to vote for a candidate with strong animal welfare policies.

Support for a ban on live animal export remains strong, with 59% of respondents supporting a ban, including a majority of Greens, Labor, and Liberal/National voters. In the most recent comparable survey, conducted in 2019 through ABC Vote Compass, support for a ban stood at 58%.

For the first time, national support has been tested for a ban on greyhound racing. A clear majority (54%) of Australians agree that greyhound racing should be banned, with 28% strongly agreeing and 43% more likely to vote for a candidate who wants to ban greyhound racing.

Further, a clear majority (55%) agree with the statement that “racing animals like horses and greyhounds for gambling and entertainment is cruel”, and 51% are more likely to vote for a candidate who advocates for stronger animal welfare standards for racehorses.

More than two-thirds (68%) of Australians agree we need stronger animal welfare standards for farm animals, with a majority (53%) more likely to vote for a candidate who advocates for this.

As stated by Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Greens spokesperson for Animal Welfare:

“So many Australians are passionate about animal welfare, and want to see the government do more to improve it.

“Both Labor and the Coalition are lagging behind the majority of voters, who want to see live export banned, greyhound racing shut down, and much stronger animal welfare standards for farm animals. Instead, the major parties continue to prop up and actively support cruel industries.

“There’s this assumption that voters don’t usually consider animal welfare when they vote. Well, they do, and they want to elect candidates who care for animals and will act to protect them.

“The turbulence of the pandemic has not diminished Australians’ love for animals. In fact, it possibly has strengthened it, with so many companion animals across the country keeping people company during very difficult and lonely times.

“The time of exploiting animals for profit is coming to an end. More and more people want to see an end to animal cruelty and for animals to be treated with compassion and care.

“I’ve always known that our communities care deeply about animals. Now, we have even more evidence.”

Methodology Statement:

The research was commissioned by The Office of Senator Mehreen Faruqi (Australian Greens) and conducted by Lonergan Research in accordance with the ISO 20252 standard, and in compliance with the Australian Polling Council Quality Mark standards (www.australianpollingcouncil.com). Lonergan Research surveyed 1,052 Australians 18+ between June 25 and June 29. After interviewing, data was weighted to the latest population estimates sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and from the AEC. Our long methodology statement and questionnaire can be found at https://projects.lonergan.team/2427-2/

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization/author(s)and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.