Whilst Australia continues to delude itself that is a leader in animal welfare, it only ranks C on the Animal Protection Index compared to other countries such as New Zealand. Countries such as India also rank C. Yep, we are not as wonderful as we claim.
Australia’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Mark Schipp did respond to this ranking in the Australian Veterinary Journal (1) but the ranking and reasons for ranking have been explained by the WAP in the same journal (2). Of major importance was the fact that in 2013, the Australian Government decided not to coordinate national animal welfare policy, devolved all responsibility for domestic animal welfare to the states and territories, removed funding from AAWS and disbanded it and ended financial support for RAWS and the OIE CC. By dismantling the national framework for animal welfare, the government has sent a strong message worldwide that Australia now is not worthy of even a B ranking, let alone an A. Live export is just part of Australia’s problem…..Australian animal welfare is not up to scratch generally and its time government addressed it. As WAP noted, the establishment of a Commonwealth Independent Office of Animal Welfare would be a positive step forward. So, only real hope for a better ranking, Dr Schipp, is a change in government!
1. Schipp M. Re: The Animal Protection Index. Aust Vet J 2015;93(5)N26
2. West M. Re: The Animal Protection Index. Aust Vet J 2015;93(8):N27