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About the Animal Justice Party

The Animal Justice Party was established in 2009 in response to growing public concern over the abuse, harm and mistreatment of non-human animals across Australia.

Who We Are

We aim to give a political voice to animals, to pursue the vital issues of animal protection through Australia’s political system and to encourage political parties to adopt animal-friendly policies.

Our MPs, members, and volunteers lobby for tougher animal protection laws and increased penalties for convicted animal abusers. Together we fight for better regulations around the trade of companion animals and advocate for better education and awareness of the treatment of animals.

We understand the way to do this is to support sustainable and ethical practices that raise the status of animals, strengthen our economy, lower our healthcare costs and ensure we create a bright future for our animals and our children.

Together we’re fighting for a brighter future for animals, people and the planet.

 

Our Vision

A community who treats animals with respect, dignity, compassion and kindness. A state where animals are able to flourish in their respective environments. A country where animal’s unique needs and capabilities are recognised and their interests are protected.

 

Our Mission

To promote and protect the interests and capabilities of animals by providing a dedicated voice for them in Australian Parliaments.

 

How will we achieve our goals

  • 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 role
  • 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 environment
  • A population settlement and land use system that is truly sustainable for all its inhabitants and ecosystems

 

Download the Animal Justice Party Charter.

Our Values

These values are timeless principles that underpin the character of the Animal Justice Party. In negotiating outcomes on a range of issues, our elected representatives are guided by these principles at all times.

Kindness
Many animals show kindness and compassion to others, giving consideration to their welfare and acting with an understanding of their problems, even sometimes sacrificing their own interests for the greater good of others. Kindness is being able to see the world through another’s eyes, having concern for their troubles and providing help, as you are able. It is fundamental to the bringing of justice to animals and people.

Equality
The best society is the one that is designed to be fair to all. We will work for equal consideration for all animals and people, with due regard to their respective interests and capabilities. We will fight for a society that celebrates and accepts diversity. We maintain empathy for all beings that can experience the world, and will work towards minimising the suffering and pain of all. We will fight for animals, and also for rescuers, carers and helpers, and the powerless in society.


Rationality
As the best representatives of animals we can be, we will use our brains and our party processes to develop sustainable and evidence based policy, sensibly reforming society to make a better life for all.


Non-violence
The practice of being harmless to yourself and others under all conditions, springing from the belief that outcomes are possible without hurting people, animals or the environment. We will work towards improved wellbeing for all while avoiding violence to any. We recognise the need for defence, without the need for aggressive wars of intervention and control over resources.

Manifesto

… a better life for all

Policy Manifesto

Humans have always had a close connection with other animal species.

We have used them for food and clothing. We have drawn inspiration and delight from them. We have lived peacefully beside them.  We have learnt from them. They have helped us in times of need. In return, we have destroyed their habitats, driven them to extinction and treated them cruelly.

Whatever our relationship with other animals, they are an important part of our lives and our survival on this planet. Indeed, they are integral to the survival of the planet.

Many people, in so many different ways, enjoy a wonderful relationship with animals.

Today, however, modern intensive farming methods, destruction of native habitat, a focus on resource exploitation and a commodity-driven consumer-based society are increasingly bringing the human treatment of animals into the public arena as an ethical and political issue.

Why an Animal Justice Party?

Most issues that come before Australia’s parliaments, in some way, impact on the lives of non-human animals, but non-human animals have no voice in these places. It is easy to be discounted if you have no voice and no power.

The Animal Justice Party was formed to focus public attention and bring about change to the way humans at large treat other animal species as a result of political decision making. Animal justice needs to move from the margins of human interest to the mainstream if we are all to benefit from engaging with animal worlds through kindness and compassion.

The Animal Justice Party is therefore not a single-issue party. It is about a better life for all of us. Our interdependence with other animals makes this essential not only for them but also for us.

Why should we care?

We cannot afford to turn a blind eye to the brutality inflicted by humans on non-human animals and simultaneously expect that we can have a society that is just, an environment that is sustainable, and economic processes that are fair and ethical.  All these are intimately connected.

We have to ask ourselves just what kind of species brutalises and extinguishes the lives of other sentient beings for their own comfort or entertainment? Inflicting such brutality on non-human animals is not a foundation for building a society based on the values essential for the future of our planet.

Many people do not treat animals badly. But when this does happen, it is unethical, unjust, short-sighted and inappropriate for an enlightened world. It will not enable us to enact policies that will deal with the pressures currently confronting the planet. This is where our parliaments have got it so wrong. They have sanctioned and relied on animal cruelty and disregarded animal lives to achieve a few human ends – human ends where there are more ethical approaches.

As a society, our moral standing is diminished by the cruelty and disregard we display towards other animals. The environment on which we rely for our very existence is diminished by our disregard for the contribution other animals make to ecosystems and the natural world. Our economy is diminished by viewing animals as something only to be exploited, rather than to be nurtured for their capabilities.

Parliaments throughout the world regard power, money and recognition ahead of concern for the wellbeing and capability of other animals; who may not share the same language of communication or who live in environments we know very little about.

These parliaments adopt the view that a strong society is somehow determined by the numbers that appear in a set of economic accounts and by narrow-minded, disengaged ‘science’.

Values of compassion and kindness and the knowledge to be gained from non-human worlds are seen as irrelevant in the world of rationalist economics.

Ignoring the world of other animal species is selling our future as a just, fair, compassionate and – significantly – sustainable society – a long way short.

What can we do? 

Cruelty to, and disregard of, animals by so many people is intertwined with many social, economic and environmental issues across the nation.

The Animal Justice Party’s overriding objective is to provide a voice for policies and practices that promote respect, kindness, compassion and understanding toward other animals and, as a result, offer an opportunity for better outcomes for all.

To address questions of cruelty and disregard of animals that have been neglected by parliaments throughout Australia, the AJP will work towards a number of headline policies to enhance animal wellbeing and capability in Australia. These headline policies are underpinned by a range of detailed species and issue-specific policies that are available on the Party website: animaljusticeparty.org.

They include:

  • Foster consideration, respect, kindness and compassion for all species as core values in the way in which Australian parliaments design and deliver initiatives aimed at building a stronger nation. This will include: (a) having a national approach to animal wellbeing policy and practice; (b) establishing a designated national animal welfare portfolio and administration with budgets significant enough to recognise their importance for Australian society, environments and the economy; (c) reviewing existing and all new government policies to ensure their impact does not diminish animal wellbeing and capability, and (d) initiating legislation to protect animals that clearly defines cruelty based around these key principles.
  • Review the effectiveness of all current non-government institutional arrangements involved in supporting animal wellbeing and capability.
  • Review all primary industry and processing practices with a view to changing policy and practice to enhance animal wellbeing and capability.
  • Outlaw international trade in animals, except where it can be shown to directly benefit the animals concerned.
  • Give full protection to Australia’s native animals and their habitats, in preference to uncontrolled land and property development and their exploitation for commercial gain.
  • Outlaw the use of animals for sport, exhibition and entertainment.
  • Outlaw research and experimentation on animals except where it is in the interests of the individual animals concerned.
  • Proactively support a plant-based diet through education and awareness. Such a diet prevents a large toll of animal suffering, contributes to human health, indirectly reduces starvation of humankind, replenishes the damaged environment and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The AJP understands a move towards a more plant-based diet is a personal transitional process given current pressures promoting animal-based diets. AJP membership does not impose personal diet disclosures.
  • Promote a new legal classification for all animals that recognises their status as sentient beings, is nationally consistent, and will ensure greater enforcement of laws governing the wellbeing of animals and issues of cruelty and brutality.

We welcome your feedback on all Animal Justice Party policies.  Please send your comments to the info line: [email protected]

Constitution

In 2018 the legal structure of the party changed from an Association incorporated in NSW to a Company Limited by Guarantee.  Accordingly a new Constitution was adopted. This change was considered essential in light of the rapid growth and national character of the party.

Download the Animal Justice Party Constitution