Election 2016: Where do the parties stand on animal welfare?

Election 2016: Where do the parties stand on animal welfare?
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On July 2, Australians will head to the the polls to determine who'll be running the country for the next three years. Find out who is promising what for animals in this handy guide...


LAST UPDATED: 9 June 2017

People power has put animal welfare on the political agenda and people power will keep it there! But where do the major (and minor) political parties stand on two big issues facing animals this Federal election — an Independent Office of Animal Welfare and live export?

See for yourself in this table* or to find out more about other animal welfare policies click on the links below.

Has a formal animal
welfare policy?
Independent Office
of Animal Welfare?
Supports end to
live export?
Australian Labor Party (ALP) YES YES1 NO
Coalition (Liberal Party & National Party) NO2 NO NO
The Australian Greens YES YES YES
Animal Justice Party (AJP) YES YES YES
Australian Sex Party YES YES YES
Health Australia Party YES YES YES
Science Party YES YES YES3
Pirate Party Australia YES YES NO4
Derryn Hinch's Justice Party YES No policy YES
Sustainable Australia YES No policy YES
Australian Democrats YES No policy No policy
Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) NO No policy NO5
Australian Independents Party NO No policy No policy
Family First NO6 No policy No policy
Democratic Labour Party (DLP) NO No policy No policy
One Nation NO No policy No policy
Palmer United Party NO No policy No policy
Secular Party of Australia NO No policy No policy
Shooters & Fishers Party NO7 No policy NO
Katter's Australian Party (KAP) NO No policy NO
Christian Democratic Party (CDP) NO No policy NO

Download this table

1Labor recently announced it would establish an Independent Office of Animal Welfare if elected, however its structure is still unclear. Benefits for animals would depend on how the policy was executed and whether the Office is independent of the Department of Agriculture in its operations and decision-making..

2The Coalition has no formal animal welfare policy, but since first publication of this table they announced a plan to join other parties including Labor and the Greens in supporting a ban on the sale of new cosmetics tested on animals.

3The Science Party's policy states "We believe the heavily documented accounts of animal suffering justify an end to the current system of live export, and necessitate substantive changes if it is to continue."

4Pirate Party Australia policy is to "Enact a package of reforms to transform and improve the live exports industry", including "Provid[ing] assistance for willing live animal exporters to shift to chilled/frozen meat exports."

5Nick Xenophon Team's policy on live export is 'It is important that strict controls are placed on live animal exports to ensure animals are treated in accordance with Australian animal welfare standards. However, our preference is to have Australian processing and the exporting of chilled meat.'

6Family First's Senator Bob Day's position policy on 'Animal Protection' supports Senator Chris Back's Federal 'ag-gag' Bill, which could result in fines or imprisonment for animal advocates who publish in-depth evidence of animal cruelty from factory farms.

7The Shooters and Fishers Party does not have a specific animal welfare policy but has several policies that would impact animals, including to "Promote shooting, hunting and fishing as appropriate school activities."


*Please note that this list of parties is not exhaustive. For a full list of candidates contesting the 2016 election, click here. Please also note that the information on this page reflects policies available online at the time of research & responses by email to Animals Australia. If you would like an update made, please contact us.



There are numerous Independent candidates running for seats in the House of Representatives or the Senate this election. We are aware of these Independents so far who have positive animal welfare policies:

If you are an Independent candidate and want to be listed here, please contact us.


If you'd like to find out more about how preferences work, let Dennis the Election Koala be your guide (it's an oldie but a goodie).


This guide is provided to assist supporters' awareness of the animal welfare policies of parties or candidates contesting the upcoming election. Animals Australia is an apolitical organisation and (in compliance with the Charities Act 2013) cannot endorse any political party or candidate.

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