Friday, August 23, 2013

Party Games 1/54 The Animal Justice Party

First up is the Animal Justice Party. Opposed to anything that may harm animals. The core of their philosophy are the five freedoms they say all animals should enjoy. These are
1: freedom from hunger and thirst
2: freedom from discomfort
3: freedom from pain, injury and disease
4: freedom to express normal behaviour
5: freedom from fear and distress

From these five freedoms they build up their policies which include banning circuses and rodeos, banning the sale of dogs and cats by pets stores, prohibiting animal shelters to put down animals, legal recognition of animals as sentient being, greatly reduced experimentation on animals (one of the conditions that they place on animal experimentation is that it benefits the species of animal being experimented upon), banning the hunting of animals for recreation, massive reforms of farming practices, banning live export of animals, greater protection of wildlife, eliminating the property status of animals, and more.

In terms of policies and positions the Animal Justice Party reminds me a lot of PETA, a fact that does not help them to get my vote. While I certainly agree one should not be cruel to animals or cause them pain for no reason, animals don't require the same level of care and protection as people. Giving them special status that they can not be considered property seems to me to be counter productive to helping protect animal welfare, and would open up the mother of all demands for compensation from farmers (Can you imagine a farmers reaction when told he doesn't own his livestock anymore?).

For me the answer of how do we protect animals from human cruelty (because I see little here about protecting animals from each other) is not to put humans and animals on an equal footing in terms of laws and rights, because quite frankly we're not, but to educate and enlighten. For many of their policies I find I agree with the intention, but the implementation is too much (yes, I would like to see koala populations restored, but a target population of 1 million (which is around 200 times the current population) seems very high)

The Animal Justice Party is very much a single issue party. They have no policies on the NBN, healthcare, education, the economy, or the carbon tax.

The Animal Justice Party is running candidates for the Senate in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, West Australia, South Australia and the ACT, and are not contesting any seats in the House of Representatives. They have given preferences highly to the Australian Democrats and the Stable Population Party, but I'm guessing most of the preferences will end up going to the Greens in the end.

twitter: @AJP_Australia

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