The Animal Justice Party believes that if wildlife is killed, injured, sick, orphaned or displaced as a result of direct or indirect human activities, we have a duty to rectify the harm caused, by caring for the wildlife and taking necessary measures to prevent suffering and further harm. If humans are not responsible, it is reasonable to expect that the animals be provided assistance, wherever possible, in the spirit of kinship and compassion.
The AJP recognises that wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and release conducted according to best practice, is crucial to animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Therefore, it must be adequately regulated, funded, and supported like any other public service.
- Take proactive measures to mitigate human impacts on wildlife (See Wildlife Protection policy) and to therefore reduce the number of animals that need rescuing.
- Recognise the importance of wildlife and wildlife care in our environment and society, and support wildlife carers by providing funding, resources and training.
- Introduce a legal duty of care to assist native animals injured, orphaned or displaced, whether by one’s own actions or not, and whether found in private or public areas. At the minimum, this duty would require the finder to contact a wildlife carer/organisation who can give advice or assist with taking the animal to a vet or qualified carer.
- Review the policies for licensing, and the operational practices of wildlife care groups and individuals. This might include inspections of facilities and a review of training required to care for wildlife.
- Centrally coordinate and oversee the activities of wildlife carers in all jurisdictions through state-based Wildlife Rescue Committees. During natural disasters, such committees would coordinate urgent intervention of trained carers and collaboration with emergency services.
- Establish a national wildlife care database to help identify wildlife hotspots and species at risk; assess outcomes for animals rescued; best practice for rescue, treatment, rehabilitation and release; and identification of suitable wildlife release areas.
- Consult with wildlife carers/organisations regarding activities that may have a detrimental impact on wildlife, such as urban development, logging, mining and land clearing.
- Support the creation and operation of mobile wildlife hospitals for emergency situations.