As you know Labor took a strong plan on this area to the election, in addition to phasing out the live sheep export trade, Labor was committed to ensuring strong animal welfare standards. We planned to:
- Rule out ever licensing the live export of donkeys.
- Establish the Inspector-General of Animal Welfare as an independent statutory position operating from within the Department of Agriculture. The Inspector-General will be responsible for advising on the protection of animals in all Commonwealth-regulated activities and will report directly to the Minister of the day on issues concerning live exports, animal welfare standards and guidelines. The Inspector-General will also work with the states and territories to establish an independent Office of Animal Welfare.
- Reform Australian environmental law by developing and passing a new Australian Environment Act that would compel the Australian Government to take a leadership role in protecting Australia’s environment and protect Australia’s threatened species. We will also establish a new Environment Protection Authority.
- Restore Australia’s marine park network – the Liberal Government’s changes to Labor’s network have allowed longlining in the Coral Sea marine park, for example.
- Ban the domestic trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn, except in limited circumstances, such as antique musical instruments.
- Ban cosmetic testing on animals.
Unfortunately we did not win the election and must campaign from Opposition.