Policies/Animal Welfare

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Official Party Document
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Animal welfare

The Pirate Party is opposed to animal abuse and believes our laws should be informed by scientific research, which demonstrates the capacity of animals to feel emotion and pain.[1] Better public understanding and greater transparency have been crucial to improvements in animal welfare to date, and we believe in the further application of these principles. Accordingly, we support efforts to create an independent statutory authority to conduct research and improve animal welfare outcomes. Such a body will have a significant role to play in addressing deep issues in areas such as live cattle exports, puppy farming, and greyhound racing.

There also need to be serious efforts to address the vast and systemic animal abuse in Australia's factory farms. Pirate Party Australia will do all it can to ensure that food production in Australia is conducted with less cruelty in future. A stronger ability to investigate animal abuse—combined with a general lifting in legislative standards—offer the best chance for a holistic improvement in animal welfare in factory farms and other areas.

Pirate Party Australia advocates the following reforms:

Foster improvements in animal welfare

  • Support existing proposals to form an Independent Office of Animal Welfare (IOAW).
    • The IOAW authority will be dedicated to animal welfare issues, with enforcement powers and a mandate to adopt a scientific approach.
    • The authority will have statutory independence to prevent political and commercial interference.
  • Improve legislation applying to animal product industries.
    • Ban the use of sow stalls.
    • Codify a legal requirement for all abattoirs to stun animals prior to slaughter.
    • Provide whistleblower protection for persons who expose animal abuse at factory farms and other facilities.
    • Ensure transparent and clear labeling of all animal based products, with "free range" label permitted only when:
      • Independent audits of sanitary and welfare conditions are allowed.
      • For birds, indoor stocking density is at a maximum level of 28 kg of live birds per sq metre (35 kg for turkeys), with unrestricted access to an outdoor range with maximum of 1500 birds per hectare, no use of growth promoters, no mutilations (beak trimming, toe trimming, de-snooding).
      • For pigs and cattle, unrestricted access to soil and pasture and no use of farrowing crates, sow stalls, feedlots, tail docking, teeth clipping and nose ringing.
  • Ban cosmetics testing on animals
  • Ban 'puppy farming' and unregulated high-volume dog breeding.


  1. Scruton, R., & Tyler, A. (2001). "Debate: Do animals have rights?", The Ecologist, 31(2), Pages 20-23.