Photo of big male by Brett Clifton
The has been formed as a response to growing public concern about the neglect of animals and animal protection issues by political parties. It will give a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves. It will provide a focal point for voters frustrated by the lack of political action and who feel strongly that much more needs to be done through our parliamentary systems to assist the wellbeing of animals. There is a need for laws and processes which recognise animals' needs and capabilities and which protect their interests, whether they are domestic, farmed or wild. The Animal Justice Party will also ensure such laws and processes are properly enforced and implemented to achieve genuine justice for animals.
Our treatment of animals and the environments we share with them are often marred by a lack of understanding, leading to disrespect and cruelty. At a time when the planet’s environment is being challenged on so many fronts, we must urgently act to ensure that all animals that both contribute to and depend on it are respected and valued for their intrinsic and fundamental roles. We need to build a new relationship with the planet that is inclusive of all of its inhabitants. With a fresh approach towards animals and the ecological systems of Earth, humans can create more rewarding and ethical communities and relationships built on deeper understandings and firm principles of justice.
The Animal Justice Party seeks a restoration of the balance between the human, natural and animal worlds which acknowledges the interconnectedness and inter-dependence of these worlds, and respects the wellbeing of animals alongside that of humans, societies, economies and environments.
A planet on which animals are treated with respect, dignity, compassion and kindness, where they are able to flourish in their respective environments, and where their unique needs and capabilities are recognised and their interests are protected.
To promote and protect the interests and capabilities of animals by providing a dedicated voice for them in Australia’s political system.
To implement its vision and give effect to its mission, the Animal Justice Party recognises the importance of the following:
• An education system which fosters in its values an awareness of the natural and animal worlds, and of human responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of the Earth and its inhabitants
• A political system in which participatory, deliberative democracy can be exercised so that citizens have the ability to express their true concerns about the treatment of animals
• An administrative system in which governments and institutions deal with animal and environmental issues in a transparent, honourable and accountable manner
• An economic system in which ethics, the protection of the natural world and its inhabitants, and the realisation of capability of all beings are highly valued for their intrinsic roles
• A societal system in which we acknowledge that it is our human duty and responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of all animals
• A robust legal system that recognises and protects the interests and capabilities of humans, animals and their environments
• A population settlement and land use system that is truly sustainable for all its inhabitants and ecosystems.
In all its actions, the Animal Justice Party will be guided by the following principles:
• Each animal is the experiencing subject of a life. Animals and the natural environment should be respected for their own sake, not merely for their instrumental values
• Animals have their own capabilities which they should be free to realise
• Human interactions with all animals should be based on respect and compassion
• Humans have the responsibility to avoid harm to animals and the environment through their lifestyles, diets and practices
• Policies of other political parties, both nationally and internationally, that advance Animal Justice Party principles will be supported.
The Animal Justice Party seeks the following:
• A legal framework and an administrative system in which animals' status is based on their sentience and capabilities, not their instrumental value
• Constitutional protection of animals and the environment
• A political decision-making process that is more responsive to the needs and interests of all animals
• An end to human practices that cause pain and distress to animals
• An end to the killing of animals for human benefit
• An end to the exploitation and destruction of the natural environment that is the habitat of so many unique Australian native animals
• Adoption by an increasing number of Australians of lifestyles and diets that are more respectful towards animals and the environment
• An acknowledgement that violence and cruelty are not the default settings for society and animals, nor are they solutions for planetary sustainability.
The Animal Justice Party will:
For All animals
• Develop a new legal status for animals which acknowledges their rights to live protected from human harm
• Ensure consistency in the protection of all animals – companion, farmed and wild – regardless of their commercial or instrumental value, or their geographic location
• Support laws, policies and practices that enhance the quality of life of animals and reduce animal suffering
• Oppose laws, policies and practices which harm animals and their environments
• Support and promote lifestyles, practices and diets which maximise support for, and minimise harm to, animals and the environment
• Support the work of appropriately accredited volunteers who care for injured, orphaned and mistreated animals
• Support commercial and recreational ventures that provide opportunities for humans to spend time with animals on the animals' terms and in their worlds, and otherwise raise humans' awareness of animals, their needs, and their quality of life
• Promote values education that recognises the interests and dignity of animals as individual beings.
For Farm animals
• Support animal-friendly farming practices
• Oppose intensive farm animal production and processes that deprive animals of their basic needs and capabilities, expose them to confinement, painful procedures, temperature extremes and other inappropriate husbandry practices, and generally reduce them to the status of commodities
• Oppose transportation of live animals over long distances or otherwise in ways that cause suffering, or expose them to extreme cruelty at the end of the journey
• Oppose the importation of animal products derived from cruel animal production systems in other countries.
For Animals used in experimentation
• Support non-invasive research methods to improve human health as alternatives to the use of animals and animal products
• Oppose the use of animals in any scientific experimentation that inflicts pain, stress, distress and behavioural deprivation unless it is likely to result in a net benefit to the particular animal involved.
For Wild animals
• Enhance animal habitats and foster healthy ecosystems through dedicated terrestrial and marine parks and wildlife corridors, land revegetation and remediation, and animal-friendly land practices
• Oppose the institutional, commercial and recreational killing of wildlife
• Support the development and adoption of non-invasive and non-lethal methods to control native and introduced animal populations, including fertility control and more appropriate land management methods
• Support commercial and recreational ventures that seek to raise humans' awareness of the intrinsic worth of wildlife and natural environments.
For Companion animals
• Support measures to protect animals dependent on human guardians and to prevent their neglect, ill treatment or abandonment.
For Animals used in sport and entertainment
• Oppose the killing and mistreatment of animals in sport, recreation and entertainment.
To join the Animal Justice Party,
© Animal Justice Party, Australia, 2010. For more information, contact: info[AT]animaljusticeparty.org