Animal rights extremists are having an undue influence on Victorian politics, believes Animal Care Australia (ACA).

The research by ACA involved trawling through three years of Hansard records to discover how often each party spoke in favour of improving animal welfare and supporting companion animals, and those who blocked, or spoke against, those motions.

Michael Donnelly, President of ACA, said this is not just about cats and dogs.

“Many of us keep all sorts of animals including birds, rabbits, rats, reptiles, horses, domesticated native animals, goldfish, and everything in between.

“The current government has introduced policies that negatively impacted pet owners and set animal welfare back by years and that cannot continue.”

ACA identified that animal rights extremists, which represent less than one per cent of the Australia population, are having an undue influence, removing animal welfare from legislation, and restricting and over regulating companion animal ownership and activities.

One example was in 2019, when an amendment to Victoria’s Planning Provisions called VC159 passed through both houses, which saw a change in permitted land uses limiting the number of animals any household on less than 20 acres can own to a maximum of just five. No more than 2 of any individual species can be kept without a permit.

“People who are responsible pet owners and have done the right thing by registering their pets with council became easy targets for fines or demands to euthanize excess numbers of loved family members.

“Human and animal victims – all simply at the whim of a government negotiating with minor parties to get the votes they needed elsewhere.”

ACA has created a score card showing how each Victorian political party has performed in supporting or opposing animal welfare initiatives for companion animals in this last term.

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