Animal Welfare Action Plan

Close up of an alpaca's face

Victoria's first-ever Animal Welfare Action Plan — Improving the Welfare of Animals in Victoria, was released in 2018:

The action plan aims for Victoria to continue to improve animal welfare and to be well-respected globally for its animal welfare practices.

The action plan covers all animals including:

  • pets
  • livestock
  • native animals
  • aquatic animals
  • animals used for research and teaching
  • and in tourism and recreation.

Science tells us that animals are sentient. They experience feelings and emotions such as:

  • pleasure
  • comfort
  • fear
  • pain.

The Animal Welfare Action Plan embodies community expectations for animal welfare — that animals deserve to be treated with care and respect.

The action plan was developed in collaboration with industry and the Victorian community.

It sets four priority areas:

  • a policy and legal framework that safeguards and improves animal welfare in Victoria
  • collaboration that advances and promotes investment in animal welfare
  • education and communication that improves attitudes, knowledge, skills and compliance
  • compliance and enforcement that is efficient and effective.

Watch our video for more information about the Animal Welfare Action Plan:

[Voice over]

Animals are integral to the lives of Victorians.

In Victoria, our animal population includes over 150 million farm animals, 6.7 million pets and more than 948 native animal species – many unique to our state.

There are also many animal industries which contribute to Victoria's economy, our employment and well-being.

These include:

  • agriculture
  • pets
  • tourism
  • recreation
  • animal research, and
  • teaching.

That's why animal welfare matters.

It's important to Victorians, our animal industries, and the Victorian Government.

It's important to our economy with global markets placing greater emphasis on how animals are cared for.

Most of all, it's important to animals.

Science tells us that animals are sentient. This means they experience pleasure, comfort and discomfort, fear and pain. We need to treat animals humanely and ensure those in our care are healthy, safe and well-nourished and have an acceptable quality of life.

Whether it's animals in our care or those we may interact with; we are all responsible for safeguarding the welfare of animals.

Community expectations of animal welfare have increased in recent years.

Market research shows that 98% of Victorians believe protecting the welfare of animals is important. We know most Victorians take good care of their animals.

There are many great examples of improvements to animal welfare by animal industries, welfare groups, government, and the community. But we can always do better.

That's why the Victorian Government has developed the Animal Welfare Action Plan: Improving the welfare of animals in Victoria.

Victoria's first ever strategic planning document for animal welfare, sets the direction to further advance and improve animal welfare in Victoria across a broad range of species and activities.

Many Victorians contributed to the action plan. They said the welfare of animals could be improved with action in four areas:

  • collaboration
  • education and communication
  • compliance and enforcement, and
  • legislative reform.

These four actions will bring together Victorians who are involved with animals to help realise the plan’s vision for animal welfare – a Victoria that fosters the caring and respectful treatment of animals.

Animal welfare is a shared responsibility. Together we can get it right.

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Page last updated: 08 Apr 2024