Federal watchdog body for animal welfare urged

Canberra [AAP]

International animal advocates are calling for a federal watchdog for animal welfare, using the recent live baiting greyhound scandal and puppy farms as proof not enough is being done.

World Animal Protection has released a report calling for political parties to commit to creating an independent office of animal welfare, arguing Australia’s ‘patchwork’ of laws are failing animals.

The lack of national standards was also putting farming and its 200 million animals at risk, it said.

‘The system as it stands is not good enough’, head of campaigns Nicola Beynon said on Tuesday.

The report, Advance Australian Animal Welfare, uses the frequency of animal welfare incidents, including live baiting in the greyhound racing industry, to argue for the national body.

Australia’s live export trade and puppy farms also receive regular public criticism, it said.

‘Although data on animal welfare incidents is currently not collected nationally … combined reports from government, animal protection groups and media suggest such incidents are frequent’, the report states.

Australian standards fall short of other countries, allowing battery-caged hens and body mutilations without pain relief, the report said.


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