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Simplifying animal welfare regulation

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  • RSPCA Australia
  • Monday, 10 May 2021

Simplifying animal welfare regulation

When it comes to animal welfare regulation, the situation is complex. Information can be hard to find – or not available at all – and it can be very difficult to get a clear picture of how well animal welfare is regulated across states and territories.

Here at the RSPCA, one of the best ways we can help to improve the lives of animals is to highlight where there are gaps in animal welfare regulation, which helps us advocate for improvements.

So that’s why we’ve developed an interactive animal welfare scorecard and map which currently shows the state of animal welfare regulation in slaughtering establishments across Australia’s states and territories.

We plan to add to this map to have lots of different datasets on a range of animal welfare topics, so you can easily see what states and territories are doing better than others – and which ones are falling behind.

Where are we at now?

The first set of data you’ll find on the map is animal welfare regulation in abattoirs, poultry processors and knackeries. In our report released last month, we highlighted that there’s a lot the community doesn’t know about animal welfare in these establishments, and there are significant gaps and differences in the way these establishments are regulated by state and territory governments.

When you visit the map and select a category, you can see how each state is performing on average. Clicking on a particular state lets you drill down into the finer detail. For comparing animal welfare regulation in slaughtering establishments, for example, we examine seven areas (such as mandatory CCTV use). You can read more about what the scores mean by clicking the icon next to the score, or read the full scorecards here.

Why is this important?

One of the best ways for us to create change is to highlight what needs to change in the first place. This helps us be better advocates for animals when we’re speaking to decision-makers (like governments or industry bodies), and gives you in the community the tools you need to also advocate for change. We’re already seeing positive moves, for example, after publishing this report – industry groups are wanting  to work together to make improvements in animal welfare regulation at slaughtering establishments.

Simplifying complex animal welfare regulation is one of the best ways to help inform the community and push for change. We always strive to publish accurate, authoritative information that’s clear and straightforward. You might already be familiar with our Knowledgebase (which has over 650 articles on a range of animal welfare issues), as well as some of our education resources – the animal welfare scorecard and map is another useful resource.

Where to from here?

We’ll be expanding the scorecard and map to include other animal welfare issues – so stay tuned!

We’ll have a particular focus on areas of animal welfare regulation where there are significant gaps or differences between states and territories, and where information is currently complex and hard to find. We’ll also regularly update the scores that are on there now, so that we can track and assess whether animal welfare regulation is improving over time.

We encourage you to take a look at the scorecard and map, and follow the links if you’re interested in reading more on these topics. Our aim is to de-mystify the often complex and opaque world of animal welfare regulation – something that will genuinely help us and the community in the work towards improving the lives of Australian animals.


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