In October 2018, Malcolm Caulfield presented at the Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand Annual Conference. His presentation focuses on the animal welfare implications of live export. His slides are available here:
The Animal Law Institute is committed to a progressive law reform agenda that aims to stop animal cruelty. You can read how we have lobbied politicians and advocated for law reform below.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.