Good animal welfare is consistent with good farming because high quality agricultural products require healthy animals and excellence in animal care. Farmers are strong advocates of good animal health and welfare outcomes.
Australia has strict state legislation governing animal production and welfare. These laws differ from state to state, making animal welfare complicated.
The NFF has zero tolerance for animal cruelty. To improve animal husbandry and to develop best practice for production animals, the government needs to work in partnership with industry.
In general, animal cruelty is defined as direct acts of cruelty and as neglect of animals by a person responsible for the animal’s wellbeing. Challenges in enforcing animal welfare are at present the monitoring of animal husbandry, the accreditation of quality assurance and the funding of independent auditing programs.
Current animal welfare codes neglect the practical realities of production, necessitating a coherent industry wide framework and strategy for production animal welfare issues.
To champion best practice in animal husbandry, the NFF would suggest the following measures:
- Establish an R&D project to provide a practical, cross sectoral framework for Australian animal producers to coherently respond to growing societal concern about animal welfare.
- Provide greater resources to animal welfare regulators to permit more effective surveillance and to support accredited quality assurance through independent auditing programs.
- Solidify Australia’s international leading role in animal welfare by harmonising animal welfare standards and guidelines across all states and territories.
For a full list of recent submissions relating to biosecurity, health and welfare: click here