LFA Submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Voice for Animals (Independent Office of Animal Welfare) Bill 2015

On the back of the Greens’ dissenting report opposing enactment of Senator Back’s ag-gag bill, the Greens introduced the Voice for Animals (Independent Office of Animal Welfare) Bill 2015 (“Bill”) into the Senate on 23 June 2015.  The Bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation, the same Committee that considered Senator Back’s ag-gag bill.

LFA was invited to provide a submission to the Committee, which it did on 10 August 2015.

A copy of LFA’s submission will be made public once released from parliamentary confidentiality restrictions. 

The Bill proposes the establishment of an independent statutory office, to be known as the Independent Office of Animal Welfare, to act as an oversight, review and reporting body in respect of the Commonwealth Government’s animal welfare standards and the Australian Standards for Export of Livestock and Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System in Particular.

Although not a ‘watch-dog’ agency with substantive investigate powers or prosecuting authority, LFA supports the establishment of the Independent Office of Animal Welfare as a sensible step towards a more rigorous Commonwealth animal welfare regulatory system.

The Committee report is due on 15 September 2015.

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Animal Testing

Cruel and painful testing on animals is widespread in medicine, agriculture, pharmaceutics and education. However, the scientific merit and human benefit of many of these tests is contested by numerous scientists.

Amendments to the Code of Practice have seen ‘benchmarks’ implemented calling for the three R’s: reduction (less animals used), replacement (non-animal alternatives) and refinement (ensuring suffering is minimised).

Unfortunately, there is still a long way to go before there is an onus on people to utilise non-animal means of testing – such as the use of proteins from human cells.


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