Animals in NSW are not being protected because the same government department is responsible for animal welfare and animal industries, and our animal cruelty laws are being enforced by under-resourced and unaccountable charities.
We need a new, independent, professional, government funded body with animal welfare and protection as its focus and mission: an Independent Office of Animal Protection.
An Independent Office of Animal Protection would not only stand independent from the agricultural industries that exploit millions of animals each year for profit, but take on the role of developing policies, procedures, standards and guidelines for the protection of animals in NSW. It would also investigate animal cruelty complaints, enforce our animal protection laws, and prosecute those who harm animals.
The Department of Primary Industries faces an extreme conflict of interest. They are responsible for the animal agribusiness industry - who abuse and slaughter tens of thousands of animals every year - yet are also expected to develop policies, procedures, standards and guidelines on animal welfare.
With the industrialisation of animal agribusiness increasing, this conflict of interest only gets worse by the day. The interests agricultural lobbying groups urgently need to be removed from the development of animal protection guidelines.
Establishing an Independent Office of Animal Protection would remove the conflict of interest currently faced by the DPI, exclude corporate interests from the development of animal policies, procedures, standards and guidelines, and afford all animals the protection they deserve.
But we have to act quickly to achieve our goal. Our MP Mark Pearson has successfully put an Independent Office of Animal Protection on the Parliamentary agenda, but we only have until December to convince the NSW Government to put his plan into action.
Animals deserve a professional, empowered, resourced and independent agency to take on the role of animal protection. That's why Mark Pearson MP and the Animal Justice Party NSW are calling on the NSW Government to ensure animals are properly protected under law, by supporting our recommendation for an Independent Office of Animal Protection.