AAWS - Building on past achievements, delivering a better future for animals.
First developed in 2005, the 2010-2014 Australian Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS), directs the future of animal welfare. Its aim is to assist in the creation of a more consistent and effective animal welfare system. The AAWS, through its participants and projects, clarifies the roles and responsibilities of key community, industry and government organisations.
The animal welfare system in Australia aims to ensure all animals receive a standard level of care and treatment. The level of care requires that all animals be provided with adequate housing or habitat, handling, sanitation, nutrition, water, veterinary care, and protection from extreme weather conditions and other forms of natural disasters.
Australia has three tiers of government, each of which may have animal welfare responsibilities although these vary between jurisdictions. Under the Federal Constitution, States and Territories have the primary jurisdiction for animal welfare within Australia.
The Australian Government has specific powers in relation to external trade and treaties that encompasses some animal welfare issues. The Australian Government also provides support and helps to coordinate new developments, projects and legislation under the AAWS. It also has legislative responsibility concerning export abattoirs, the live animal export trade and animals in quarantine.
Local governments have responsibility for some areas of domestic and unwanted animal control and public health that has a significant impact on animal welfare. This includes the provision of feedback to state/territory governments in order to change legislation and for the promotion and maintenance of responsible animal ownership.
The animal industries, the animal welfare bodies, the veterinary profession and the research community are all engaged in the development of animal welfare policy and legislation through formal and informal consultation with various committees, particularly the Animal Welfare Committee.
The current AAWS structure and priorities is based upon the recommendations of the 2008-09 review of AAWS by Bruce Gemmell. His report made 20 recommendations and is available here on the DAFF website.
Implementation of AAWS is overseen by a skills-based Advisory Committee.