Australians come together to improve animal welfare

Beef Central, 16/05/2019

A recently launched University of Queensland initiative, The Animal Welfare Collaborative, has brought together more than 60 groups to work towards a shared goal—to make Australia a global leader in animal welfare.

UQ Professor of Animal Welfare Alan Tilbrook said that the Collaborative is currently working with agricultural industry, government, academic, animal welfare and community groups.

“We have embraced all, no matter their disposition on the use of animals, and have brought them all to the table to talk.”

“The strength of the Collaborative is that it is led by Australian universities and thus provides non-partisan independence, credibility, and scientific rigour, allowing us to lead initiatives with a clear focus on the animals,” he said.

The Animal Welfare Collaborative is funded by The University of Queensland and is powered by the tireless efforts of researchers at The University of Queensland, The University of Newcastle, The University of Western Australia and The University of Adelaide. The Collaborative is committed to working closely with all Federal, State and Territory Governments.

The Animal Welfare Collaborative has four key goals:

  • Encouraging all of society to contribute their ideas on how to improve animal welfare
  • Facilitating an inclusive, constructive, evidence-based discussion about animal welfare
  • Promoting best practices in animal welfare
  • Translating and enhancing a science-based approach to animal welfare

“The Collaborative has a broad remit of animal species to cover, but the group’s initial focus is Australia’s animal production and horse racing industries, which have been the focus of public concern in recent years,” Professor Tilbrook said.

At a recent summit held in Sydney, the Collaborative brought together 60 organisations with a broad range of opinions to ‘custom build’ the Collaborative so that it becomes an efficient and novel instrument to achieve its goals.

Animal Health Australia CEO Kathleen Plowman said it was encouraging to see so many groups with a diverse range of views represented at the summit.

“The summit provided a respectful forum for discussion and debate, with everyone in agreement that providing animals with the highest level of welfare outcomes was the main priority,” said Ms Plowman.

Nearly two thirds of the organisations present at the summit voiced their enthusiasm for continuing to work together to make The Animal Welfare Collaborative a success.

Key organisations who attended the Animal Welfare Summit and participated in discussions with The Animal Welfare Collaborative include:

  • Animals Australia
  • Animal Health Australia
  • Animal Welfare Science Centre
  • Australian Chicken Meat Federation
  • Australian Livestock Exporters Council
  • Australian Eggs
  • Australian Livestock & Property Agents Association
  • Australian Meat Processor Corporation
  • Australian Pork Limited
  • Australian Superfine Woolgrowers’ Association
  • Australian Veterinary Association
  • Australian Wool Innovation
  • Cattle Council of Australia
  • Country Women’s Association of NSW
  • Dairy Australia
  • LiveCorp
  • Meat & Livestock Australia
  • Murdoch University
  • National Farmers’ Federation
  • Poultry Hub
  • Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
  • The University of Queensland
  • The University of Newcastle
  • The University of Western Australia
  • The University of Adelaide
  • The University of New England
  • Western Sydney University

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  1. Paul Franks, 16/05/2019

    Unfortunately the way things have gone the last thirty years I am not expecting much of a positive outcome. It took a private company (Medical Ethics) not a focus group to create probably the single biggest animal welfare solution for the sheep and beef industries in decades. I have fears what this group will create is simply more paperwork. I can think of many things to improve animal welfare in the beef industry but I am sure they will be totally off the table. Things like assistance in supplementary feeding during times of drought. The Queensland vegetation laws stopping the feeding of Mulga is another animal welfare issue, but I am sure will not be mentioned at any gathering.

    Then there is the animal welfare issue caused by bushfires which no one ever seems to mention. Large bushfires caused by human intervention burning millions of animals to death is simply not mentioned.

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