Category Archives: Animal Rights

Political Animals

Sunday Tasmanian – Pet Column, Anne Boxhall; July 10th

Vote One for the Sausage Sizzle is the likely pitch of dogs attending polling booths with their humans last weekend.

All over the country, dogs became the stars of election day as their photos were posted on Twitter using #DogsAtPollingBooths. Some posed near signage endorsing their owner’s favoured candidate, others were pictured scanning how to vote cards, but most turned their attention to the aromas wafting from the sausage sizzle tent.

Dogs of all ages, shapes and sizes became political animals, despite being unable to vote.

In the absence of the ‘Butcher’s Party’, it begs the question who would our canine friends vote for if they could? Would the Animal Justice Party (AJP) top their list perhaps?

The failure of the major parties to safeguard animals in the areas of live export, greyhound racing, factory farming, hunting and puppy farming has given rise to this political voice for animals.

In 2015 an AJP candidate was elected to office in New South Wales state elections. Pro-animal bills have already been introduced in the NSW Parliament to address issues relating to factory farming and experimentation on primates. The AJP envisages a legal system which protects the interests of people, animals and their environments and similarly a political system which enables people to effectively express concerns about the treatment of animals and have issues dealt with in a transparent and accountable way.

For more on AJP, visit   And for those dogs who have seen a few polling booths in their time and are still waiting for their pork barrel and democracy sausage, next time is your time to make a stand and vote one for the sausage sizzle.


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Filed under Animal Advocacy, Animal Justice Party, Animal Rights, Anne Boxhall column

Political Animals! Australia needs an Independent Office of Animal Welfare

Political Animals – Anne Boxhall article

May 8th 2016

With a federal election around the corner, now is your chance to ask your representatives to commit to standing up for animal welfare. It’s time to remind politicians that large numbers of Australians feel strongly about the treatment of companion animals, wildlife and farm animals. Food retailers are getting the message with farmed meats and eggs increasingly being marketed under higher standards of animal welfare. Politically though, Tony Abbott’s government took us backwards by dismantling Australia’s animal welfare strategy and not acting to end the live animal export trade despite a litany of on-going atrocities. While other countries have stepped up, Australia has fallen behind. Farmers themselves (and industry groups who represent them) are raising concerns over the fragmented approach to animal welfare laws and standards. Existing laws still allow cruel practices to be inflicted on animals, practices that are no longer allowed in other countries. In 2014, Australia fell behind countries such as New Zealand, UK, Germany and Denmark on a ranking of animal welfare laws and policies of livestock producing countries. A key step in protecting the welfare of Australia’s animals is setting up an independent office to take a leadership position on animal welfare. Respected animal protection organisation Voiceless recently used its national lecture series to advocate for such a body. Currently there is no dedicated branch for animal welfare within the Department of Agriculture. It follows that animal welfare should not be in the hands of departments of agriculture whose primary objectives are economic outputs and industry protection as opposed to ensuring the welfare of animals. Voiceless has provided a summary on where Labor, the Coalition and the Greens stand on establishing an independent office of animal welfare. The summary is available at

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Filed under Animal Advocacy, Animal Rights, Anne Boxhall column, Independent Office of Animal Welfare, Voiceless

Hodgkinson in hot water

The Daily Advertiser, July 19, 2013,

MINISTER for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson will be asked to make a public apology after likening animal liberationists to terrorists.

Yesterday at the NSW Farmers Association general meeting Ms Hodgkinson came out swinging when talking about animal rights groups which covertly film piggeries to monitor the welfare of animals. 

It didn’t take long for her comments to reach the ears of welfare organisations. Her comments have been slammed as “baseless, outrageous and highly offensive”.

During her address  Ms Hodgkinson pointed the finger at Animals Australia.

“We have to win the fight on this one and we have to keep putting it up to city people that may not necessarily understand our farming practices and how important they are, that they can not support these groups such as Animals Australia and can not support what they’re doing,” she said.  READ MORE HERE

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Filed under Animal Advocacy, Animal cruelty, Animal exports overseas, Animal Rights

Temp tested into the kill zone: shaping the future a conversation about canine behaviour evaluations.

Veterinary behaviourist Kirsty Seksel says : “the sad reality is that many of the dogs relinquished to these groups (Rescue Groups) are not suitable for rehoming and should be euthenased in the interest of the long term welfare of the dog. Unfortunately there is little if no expertise in many of these groups to assess the suitability of these dogs for rehoming purposes”

Download  and read this article here , just copy link into your browser

Ms Seksel is CEO of ACAC ( Australian Companion Animal Council)


Filed under Abandoned animals, Animal Advocacy, Animal Rights, Dangerous dogs, Dumped animals

House debate: Independent Office of Animal Welfare

Government House debate, Monday, 11 February 2013

Independent Office of Animal Welfare

Photo of Melissa ParkeMelissa Parke (Fremantle, Australian Labor Party, Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health, Homelessness and Social Housing) Share this | Link to this | Hansard source

I want to take this opportunity to speak about the proposed Independent Office of Animal Welfare. Last November, caucus acted on the 2011 National ALP Conference platform commitment to establish this much-needed oversight body and I am pleased to say that work on the model for the office is well advanced. Australians care about animals, farmers care for their livestock, families care for their pets and people feel passionately about Australian wildlife. There is virtual unanimity regarding the importance of the humane treatment of animals, yet public faith in Australia’s animal welfare system has been undermined in recent years by revelation after revelation of cruelty to livestock, both here and in countries to which we export live animals. In almost every case, the systemic mistreatment has been revealed by animal welfare groups, and the public is right to wonder how these incidents can happen when Australia has good animal welfare laws and prides itself as a world leader in animal welfare. READ MORE HERE

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Filed under Animal Advocacy, Animal Rights, Independent Office of Animal Welfare

A vision for the future??

Sunday Tasmanian – Pet Column for 31st March

How about this as a vision for the future? Not only are we caring about the cute animals that share our lives, we’re caring about them all. High standards of care and protection for all animals is accepted by the majority of the population, politicians, legislators and authorities. Strong and practical animal welfare legislation is in place nationally and supported in law.

An official public database provides access to procedures for delivering good animal welfare outcomes. Animal lawyers defend mistreated animals and confirm high standards of animal welfare to the public. This is the vision of Antione Goetschel, the world’s first lawyer for animals who will be speaking in Hobart on April 29th. READ MORE HERE

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Filed under Animal Advocacy, Animal cruelty, Animal Rights

Conference tackles animal cruelty

Newcastle Herald; JANEK SPEIGHT; Dec. 30, 2012,

ANIMAL rescue groups from around the state will converge in the Hunter in 2013 to address what they believe are alarming rates of animal cruelty in the region.

The Rescuers and Advocates Companion Animal Conference will be held in February at Warners Bay and aims to educate people on how to participate in animal rescue, how to find foster families for pets and how to work with media, council and vets.

Dog Rescue Newcastle founder Sue Barker, who  will speak on the day, said there was a big concern about overpopulation and euthanasia rates of animals in the Hunter.

‘‘Our councils aren’t doing anything to reduce rates, especially concerning backyard breeders,’’ she said. ‘‘We’re constantly busy. Sometimes we’re getting six to eight animals in a day. READ MORE HERE


Filed under Abandoned animals, Animal Advocacy, Animal cruelty, Animal Rights, NSW