Submission to the Economy and Infrastructure Committee Inquiry into the Impact of Animal Rights Activism on Victorian Agriculture

In August 2019, the Animal Law Institute provided a submission to the Victorian Parliamentary Economy and Infrastructure Committee in response to its Inquiry into the Impact of Animal Rights Activism on Victorian Agriculture.

Our submission stated that the current regulatory criminal law framework provides adequate legal protection for individuals and businesses, including appropriate measures to respond to trespass on private property. We recommended that law enforcement agencies are provided with sufficient resources to effectively police animal welfare laws, thereby removing the incentive for private citizens to trespass on private property.

Submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement Inquiry into Trade in elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn

In June 2018, the Animal Law Institute made a submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement in response to Inquiry into Trade in elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn.

Our submission made a total of six recommendations, including that Parliament amend the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 to prohibit the domestic trade of ivory and rhinoceros horn, and that the Commonwealth Government work with States and Territories to adopt and implement a national model to ban domestic sales.

We also recommended that the Environment and Energy Department work with auction houses, antiques dealers and online trading platforms to ensure the ban is implemented in a phased approach to ensure compliance. Additionally, our submission recommended that the Department of Communications and the Arts work with Australian museums to identify opportunities to phase out the display and trade of ivory and rhinoceros horn artifacts.

Submission to the NT Social Policy Scrutiny Committee Inquiry into the Animal Protection Bill

In March 2018, the Animal Law Institute made a submission to Northern Territory Social Policy Scrutiny Committee in response to its Inquiry into the Animal Protection Bill.

Our submission made six recommendations, concerning issues such as the proposed narrow definition of ‘animal’ in the Bill; appropriate powers for authorised officers; and issues with offences and penalties included in the Bill.

Submission in relation to the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry

In February 2018, the Animal Law Institute submitted its views in response to a public consultation on the Australian Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry.

This submission acknowledged our views that both public opinion and relevant science are strongly in favour of discontinuing the use of battery cages for layer hens, and therefore addressed the Standards’ proposition to continue the use of battery cages.

Submission to the Federal Department of Health on animal testing

In March 2017, the Animal Law Institute submitted its views in response to a consultation paper by the Federal Department of Health, regarding a potential ban on the testing of cosmetics on animals.

In our submission, ALI recommended that a ban on animal testing should extend to all chemicals used as cosmetic ingredients, rather than chemicals used exclusively as cosmetic ingredients as proposed in the consultation paper.

We also recommended that any amendments to codes of conduct must complement an enforcement regulatory regime. ALI supported the consultation paper’s proposal that the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) Australian Code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes be amended to ban cosmetic testing on animals.

Submission to the Victorian Animal Industries Advisory Committee

In February 2016, the Animal Law Institute, in conjunction with Voiceless: the animal protection institute, provided a submission to the Animal Industries Advisory Committee in relation to proposed reform of the Victorian planning system.

Our submission addressed various considerations set out in the Committee’s discussion paper, covering subjects such as land capability assessments and appropriate areas for intensive agriculture; intensive animal husbandry practices; permits and the right to object; and industry codes of practice.

Supporting A Ban on the Importation of Live Primates for Research

We support a ban on the importation into Australia of live primates for research. Read more about why in our submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications, in relation to the inquiry into the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Prohibition of Live Imports of Primates for Research) Bill 2015.

CREDIT: JO-ANNE MCARTHUR, weanimals.org

CREDIT: JO-ANNE MCARTHUR, weanimals.org

Submission in response to the Free Range Egg Labelling Consultation Paper

Credit: Jo-Anne McArthur, weanimals.org

Credit: Jo-Anne McArthur, weanimals.org

On 27 November 2015, ALI made a submission to the Australian Treasury on behalf of Consumer Affairs Australia New Zealand (CAANZ) in response to the Free Range Egg Labelling Consultation Regulation Impact Statement.

ALI recommends that the Commonwealth introduce an information standard pursuant to section 134 of the Australian Consumer Law which requires producers to label their eggs as either free range, ‘barn’ or ‘cage’. ALI recommends that this standard extend to all eggs in the retail market, and that a consultation process and independent market survey be undertaken to understand what the term free range means to a broad cross section of consumers who purchase free range eggs.

ALI recommends amending the definition of free range to better reflect the minimum husbandry practices that a majority of consumers expect a producer of free range eggs to adhere to.

Finally, ALI does not support the proposal to introduce a new 'premium free range' category or a new 'access to range' category because doing so is unnecessary and could also increase consumer confusion. 

 

Submission in Response to Racing Reforms in Queensland Discussion Paper

CREDIT: JO-ANNE MCARTHUR, WEANIMALS.ORG

CREDIT: JO-ANNE MCARTHUR, WEANIMALS.ORG

On 30 September 2015, ALI made a submission to the Department of National Parks, Sports and Racing in response to the Racing Reforms in Queensland Discussion Paper.

In our submission, ALI made it clear that it is opposed to the use of animals for the purposes of sport and entertainment and suggested a reform to the Greyhound Racing Hot Weather Protocol.

Submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

The Animal Law Institute has made a submission to the ACCC with regard to Pasture Raised On Open Fields Pty Ltd's Certification Trade Mark (PROOF CTM). 

ALI supports the overall direction of the PROOF CTM to the extent that the PROOF Standards prescribe greater welfare standards than those found in the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines and similar CTMs such as the RSPCA Approved Farming scheme.

However, ALI has concerns that the PROOF CTM Application does not meet all of the requirements in subsection 175(2) of the Trade Marks Act 1995 (TMA)

On this basis, ALI is of the view that there are sufficient grounds for the ACCC to exercise its power under subsection 175(3) of the TMA to require PROOF to amend the PROOF Standards to address the deficiencies therein.

UPDATE: We have been informed that Pasture Raised on Open Fields Pty Ltd has now withdrawn the PROOF CTM

CREDIT: JO-ANNE MCARTHUR, WEANIMALS.ORG

CREDIT: JO-ANNE MCARTHUR, WEANIMALS.ORG

Special Commission of Inquiry Into the Greyhound Racing Industry in NSW

Credit: jo-anne mcarthur, weanimals.org

Credit: jo-anne mcarthur, weanimals.org

In light of the serious animal welfare failings that have come to light in recent years, as well as the doubts previously raised by the Select Committee on Greyhound Racing in NSW as to the industry's economic viability, The Animal Law Institute does not support the continuation of greyhound racing in NSW.

Victorian Legal & Regulatory Framework Relating to Restricted Breed Legislation

The Animal Law Institute has made a submission to the Victorian Parliament's Economic and Infrastructure Committee with regard to the current legal and regulatory framework relating to restricted breed dogs.

The evidence to date indicates that the current framework has not and is not working to reduce dog attacks. In addition to not achieving its stated purposes of reducing dog attacks, the current and historic framework is plagued with significant enforcement problems.

Importantly, the current framework has significant opposition from local councils implementing the law, council officers, key animal welfare organisations such as the RSPCA (VIC) and peak veterinary associations such as the Australian Veterinary Association. 

On these bases, ALI submits that the Committee should recommend that the restricted breed legislation in Victoria be repealed and a number of legislative and policy initiatives to the current framework should instead be introduced based on an evidence supported model of reducing dog attacks such as the Calgary Model in Canada. 

Submission to Select Committee into the Operations of The RSPCA WA

The Animal Law Institute submitted that as the RSPCA WA is a private incorporated entity and not a public body, it is inappropriate for the Select Committee to make recommendations regarding the RSPCA WA’s functions – particularly its advocacy, educational, fundraising or lobbying activities - to the extent that they fall outside of the terms of any agreements between the RSPCA WA and the Department of Food and Industry WA.

The Committee’s examination of the RSPCA WA’s functions and activities should be confined to enforcement functions which are delegated to the RSPCA WA and dealt with through the contractual arrangements between the RSPCA WA and the Department. 


Proposed changes to dog and cat breeding regulations in South Australia

On 26 June 2015, The Animal Law Institute made a submission to the South Australian Parliament with regard to proposed reforms to the domestic animal breeding industry in the Dog and Cat Management (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2015 (South Australia) and the Code of Practice For The Welfare of Dogs and Cats in Breeding Facilities. ALI does not support the commercial breeding of dogs, cats or any other companion animals.

credit: jo-anne mcarthur, weanimals.org

credit: jo-anne mcarthur, weanimals.org

Submission on the Animal Welfare (Live Baiting) Amendment Bill 2015

The Animal Law Institute supported the introduction of the Bill into the South Australian parliament on the basis that it introduced much needed changes to the Animal Welfare Act 1985 (SA). The Bill would introduce positive animal protection measures to the South Australian greyhound racing industry. 

ALI commended the introduction of the Bill. It is a positive step towards increasing penalties for the offences of organised animal fights; live baiting; releasing an animal from captivity for the purpose of being hunted or killed; and selling, supplying, keeping or preparing an animal for such activities. 

UPDATE: The Animal Welfare (Live Baiting) Amendment Bill 2015 has been passed the South Australian Parliament, which means that anyone involved in live baiting in the greyhound racing industry could face up to four years in prison or a fine of $50,000.

Proposed changes to animal welfare laws in South Australia

In April 2015, the Animal Law Institute made a submission in relation to the Animal Welfare (Greyhound Training) Amendment Bill (SA) and Animal Welfare (Companion Animals) Amendment Bill (SA). ALI supported the introduction of the Bills into State Parliament on the basis that they aim to introduce much needed changes to the Animal Welfare Act 1985 (SA), by implementing positive animal protection measures to the South Australian companion animal and greyhound racing industries.

Response to the introduction of American style ag-gag laws

On 11 February, the Criminal Code Amendment (Animal Protection) Bill 2015 was introduced to the Australian Senate. If this Bill is passed by the Australian Parliament, it will deter whistleblowers, investigators, animal advocates, media and employees from exposing to the public evidence of animal cruelty and ensure the profitability of these industries is safeguarded.

The introduction of ag-gag laws will see the end of major animal cruelty exposés such as the greyhound live-baiting scandal and the mistreatment of animals in factory farms.

UPDATE: On June 16 2015, the Senate Committee on Regional and Rural Affairs and Transport recommended that the proposed Bill be passed through the Senate.

The Animal Law Institute will be conducting a campaign to ensure that this Bill does not become law.

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Submission to the Select Committee on Jumps Racing in Relation to Its Inquiry into Jumps Racing

On 30 January 2015, ALI made a submission to the Select Committee on Jumps Racing regarding jumps racing in South Australia and whether or not it should be banned. ALI supports a ban on jumps racing in South Australia primarily because:

1.    Despite the introduction of numerous safety measures, it appears impossible to avoid an unacceptable rate of horse fatalities;

2.    Horses are still far more likely to be injured while competing in jumps racing in comparison to flats racing;

3.    There do not appear to be key economic drivers in support of retaining the industry; and

4.    The sport has faced considerable criticism from the community recently and does not appear to have wide community support.

Credit: Jo-Anne McArthur, weanimals.org

Credit: Jo-Anne McArthur, weanimals.org