Vic Government announces $100,000 for pet care for domestic violence victims

In an encouraging move, the Victorian Government is taking action to help victims of domestic violence make the decision to leave their abusive partners by providing $100,000 in funding over four years to domestic violence support organisation Safe Steps to provide shelter to victims’ pets.

2012 report provided to the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges in New Zealand found cruelty to pets was most commonly reported as a form of punishment, with abusive partners often threatening or inflicting harm to pets as a form means of maintaining control in the relationship or preventing their partners from leaving.

Fears about what may happen to pets that are left behind with abusive partners often cause victims to stay in abusive relationships longer.  However, domestic violence support services have limited capacity to house or care for the pets of women fleeing abusive relationships.  Safe Steps will work with animal welfare agencies like the RSPCA to implement the program.

Read more about this from the Guardian and ABC.

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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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