The Animal Justice Party (AJP) is opposed to the exploitation of animals through farming and slaughter for meat, dairy, eggs, fibre, fur and other products.
The animal agriculture industry is immensely harmful to farmed animals, wildlife, the environment and human health. The AJP believes that animal agriculture must be phased out, with a shift towards plant-based and cellular agriculture.
The AJP understands that widespread dietary and industry change will take time. In the interim, urgent steps should be taken to improve the treatment of animals raised for consumption. The AJP prioritises an end to factory farming, supporting and working towards laws that abolish all farming of animals.
- Abolish all farming of animals.
Interim measures until farming of animals ends:
- Rapidly phase out and ban factory farming, including aquaculture.
Ban live export of farmed animals (see our Live Export Policy).
Remove the loopholes, exemptions and defences in existing laws that allow cruel farming practices to occur legally (see Animal Law Policy).
- Prohibit routine surgical mutilation of farmed animals (such as castration, tail docking, teeth and beak trimming and mulesing) unless essential for the animal’s benefit and then performed with anaesthetic.
- Require that all farmed animals live in an environment with space and resources that enable them to perform innate species-specific behaviours with kin and are not confined in cages or other restrictive enclosures.
- Require that all farmed animals have access to prompt veterinary care.
- Implement standards for shade, shelter and protection from the elements for all farmed animals.
- Improve regulation and standards for transport of farmed animals, including stricter limits on travel time and consideration of external conditions such as weather.
- Require the installation of mandatory Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) in all factory farms and slaughterhouses, with independent monitoring (possibly by Artificial Intelligence).
Raise public awareness of animal agriculture as a key contributor to climate change, pandemic risk, deforestation, marine pollution, biodiversity loss and poor human health (see our policies on Climate Emergency, Land Clearing, Water Management, Marine Animals, Wildlife Protection and Health).
End government subsidies for animal agriculture and increase government funding and support for research into alternatives to animal products and promotion of the ethical, economical, environmental, and health advantages of plant-based agriculture.
- Secure government funding and regulatory support for the development, approval and production of animal cellular agriculture products (cultivated meat and precision fermentation).
- Facilitate a just transition for farmers, including financial and other support, to assist with the move away from animal agriculture.
- Ensure animal wellbeing, environmental and human health warnings are placed on animal product packaging and ban advertising of these products.
Impact on animals
Every year, hundreds of millions of farmed animals are exploited in the Australian animal agriculture industry. In terms of both the large number of animals affected and the significant levels of pain, suffering and deprivation routinely inflicted on these sentient beings, farmed animals are by far the most exploited and mistreated animals.
All forms of farming (including free-range and organic farming) involve the exploitation and harm of animals for human purposes. Contrary to popular belief, most animal farming in Australia does not occur on small family farms. It is largely carried out by major corporations and most animals are factory-farmed. Factory farming involves housing farmed animals in densely populated environments which negatively impact their health and wellbeing. Farmed animals are often subjected to cruel practices such as intensive confinement, mutilations (such as castration, tail docking, teeth clipping, beak trimming and mulesing) and lack of access to outdoors, often prohibiting them from performing natural behaviours. For example, factory-farmed ducks lack access to surface water despite being primarily aquatic animals, and hens are unable to preen or dust bathe.
Impact on environment
Animal agriculture has a large global environmental footprint. Compared to plant-based foods, it produces vastly more greenhouse gas emissions (see following chart), uses more water, pollutes waterways, and reduces wildlife habitat and biodiversity through clearing and degradation of land.
Climate change: Animal agriculture is a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for a minimum of 14.5% of total global emissions, which is a similar contribution to that of the transport sector (see our Climate Emergency Policy). However, this 14.5% figure is misleading because the methane from sheep and cattle warms the planet far more than carbon dioxide over the 20 years after release. This is why Australia’s animal agriculture industry is responsible for about half of our warming impacts.
Land clearing and biodiversity loss: Since colonisation, approximately 40% of Australia’s forest and woodland has been cleared or extensively modified for agricultural, urban or industrial development. Of the 387 million hectares of agricultural land in Australia, 332 million hectares (86%) were used in 2020-21 for grazing, mainly by 68 million sheep and 22 million cattle used for meat production. Crops were grown on 29 million hectares (7.5%) of agricultural land. Typically, over 40% of Australia’s grain production is used as animal feed (mainly used in feedlots and chicken farms), compared to 9% for domestic flour milling, 3% for domestic malting grain use, 2.5% is retained as seed, and 45.5% is exported.
A just transition
All farmed animals experience pain and suffering as a result of common farming practices. We believe that animal farming must be brought to an end as soon as possible. However, we understand that this change will not occur overnight and will take time. We support a just transition away from animal farming, with the goal of ending animal farming entirely.
The goals of the Animal Justice Party are to rapidly phase out factory farming practices and legislate a ban on the practices that cause the most harm and suffering to farmed animals. We want to increase the prevalence and consumption of plant-based and cellular agriculture foods to enable society to phase out animal farming, before legislating a total ban. The transition will require kindness and financial support for those working in the animal agriculture industry.