The Animal Justice Party cherishes the role of companion animals in the average Australian family. While your own cat or dog may receive constant care and affection, the sad reality is that thousands of companion animals are unwanted and unloved and this will not change until we consider animals as individuals rather than commodities.
The requirements of companion animals are inadequately understood. Too many animals are put to death every year in pounds and shelters while others suffer from cruelty or neglect. We must rethink our relationship with animals; they are not simply commodities or ‘pets’ to breed and sell. There is much to cherish with companion animals who bring so much to our own lives. We must pursue change to make their lives better too.
The Animal Justice Party will promote reform to protect the best interests of companion animals consistently across Australia. Addressing the breeding and associated oversupply of companion animals is central to solving the many problems they experience. Like most Australians, we believe that every companion animal deserves a loving home. The Animal Justice Party supports people living with companion animals.
- To reframe companion animals as individuals rather than as commodities and promote the benefits of a beloved companion animal (e.g. lower stress levels).
- To promote animal adoption ahead of commercialised breeding and to provide shelters with adequate funding to cater to lost and unwanted animals, and prevent euthanasia other than for medical necessity.
- To provide education on the proper care of animals to prevent cruelty and neglect while also increasing resources to investigate and prosecute animal cruelty (see our Animal Law policy).
- To ensure that all companion animals are housed in appropriate environments without undue confinement and are given appropriate care, enrichment, exercise and stimulation according to their individual and species-specific needs.
- To increase desexing levels through targeted government subsidies and community education programs, while investigating other options proven to work in reducing the oversupply of unwanted animals.
- To outlaw puppy farms and kitten farms (see our Puppy Farm policy) and to introduce a nationally consistent Breeder Permit system to stop dodgy breeders and reduce the number of animals born without loving homes available.
- To phase out the breeding of animals with inherent genetic problems.
- To repeal breed-specific legislation throughout Australia.
- To stop unnecessary discrimination against tenants with companion animals and increase the availability of homes, including retirement homes, where they are allowed, balancing the rights of landlords, tenants and companion animals.
- To ensure our cities are suitable for companion animals with suitable toilet options, recreational spaces and better companion-friendly transport.
- To include companion animals in probate and guardianship laws so that they are adequately cared for after the death or incapacitation of a human guardian.