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Animal welfare in Australia (Published in 2008)


Animal welfare is something that affects all of us. Whether we own pets, enjoy fishing, visit zoos or are involved in animal production, most Australians are never too far from our furred, finned or feathered friends.

The responsibility for how these animals are treated extends to us all.

The Australian Government has invested significantly in the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy, and our practices and policies now lead the world.

Using illustrative case studies, this booklet explores four broad areas of animal welfare investment: ethics, science and research, law and education.

While there will always be challenges in managing the expectations of so many stakeholders with such diverse interests, the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy has proven a great example of successful collaboration across industries, governments and the community.

This booklet showcases the determination of many Australians to maintain and improve the high standards of animal welfare we enjoy.

Looking to the future, the impact of climate change on Australia’s animal industries is likely to be significant and will have serious animal welfare implications if it is not managed carefully. We now expect our droughts to become more frequent and severe, and other extreme climate events are also likely. On top of that, increasing temperatures will influence the location and incidence of many of our pests and diseases, some of which may emerge in areas where they were previously unknown.

Drought and changing temperature and rainfall patterns may also have an impact on the habitats and movements of feral animals and the prevalence and type of pests and diseases that affect them. It is essential to continue research and development into the humane management of such pests.

Australia’s Animal Welfare Strategy forms a solid base of achievement on which to build. I commend this booklet to you.

Dr John Drinan
Chairman, Australian Animal Welfare Strategy Advisory Committee and the National Consultative Committee on Animal Welfare.