The way we treat animals reflects how we treat ourselves and our society. Greens on Council will work to ensure that policies and practices prevent pain and distress to animals.
- Animals are sentient beings capable of feeling and suffering. Their intrinsic worth is separate from the needs of humans, and the welfare of animals must be respected with regard to both the survival of species and the protection of individual animals.
- Animal welfare should be considered in terms of the “five freedoms”:
- freedom from hunger and thirst;
- freedom from discomfort;
- freedom from pain, injury and disease;
- freedom to behave normally; and
- freedom from fear and distress.
- Council has the responsibility to ensure that domestic and wild animals living within the City of Melbourne are afforded appropriate protections and are treated humanely and respectfully.
- Failures of the regulatory framework to protect animal welfare should be addressed, noting that prohibition should be used to protect the welfare of animals where the regulatory framework fails to do so.
- Ensure that Council’s plans for parks and gardens respect the fodder, habitat and movement corridors of wildlife.
- Increasing the re-homing rates for cats and dogs within the City’s stray animal management program and ensure that veterinary treatment is available to all animals upon admission.
- Ensure that decisions to manage stray animals in house or using outside providers are strategically made in the best interests of animals.
- Work with rescue groups to re-home animals that are sick and not covered by Council vet treatment policies or that have behavioural issues.
- Work with the State Government and research institutions to trial more humane methods of stray cat population management, including a trial of Trap-Neuter-Return programs which will require changes to State legislation.
- In light of the inability of the existing State and Council regulatory frameworks to ensure the protection of the welfare of horses in the commercial horse-drawn vehicle industry, seek the prohibition of commercial horse-drawn vehicles.
- Continue to review Council policies and procedures to ensure that all services, functions and permit processes which relate to animals have adequate controls in place to ensure the welfare of animals.
- Lobby the State Government for changes to the Domestic Animals Act 1994 to disallow the operation of commercial businesses which cannot uphold the ‘five freedoms’.
- Use Council’s food policy and communication campaigns to raise community awareness about animal welfare issues, including encouraging participation in campaigns such as Meatless Monday.