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Animals Australia
Animals Australia logo.gif
Founded 1980
Founder Peter Singer, Christine Townend
Focus Animal welfare
Location
Area served
Australia
Method Investigations
Public awareness
Key people
Glenys Oogjes, Lyn White
Website www.animalsaustralia.org

Animals Australia is an Australian animal protection organisation. Its aim is to investigate and expose animal cruelty. It is also a peak body representing over 40 animal rights groups around Australia.

Animals Australia is currently one of Animal Charity Evaluators' Standout Charities.

History

Animals Australia formed in 1980, originally as the Australian Federation of Animal Societies, founded by Peter Singer and Christine Townend. Animal protection groups in New Zealand were invited to join in 1986 and the organisation became the Australian and New Zealand Federation of Animal Societies. This formal Australian-New Zealand association ceased in 2005 and the federation now only uses the name "Animals Australia" - the name adopted as an Australian trading name in the late 1990s. Animals Australia representatives have contributed to Government enquiries and animal welfare law reform since the 1980s, and currently serve on State 'Animal Welfare Advisory Committees' and the Australian Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (AusAWAC).

Campaigns

Animals Australia's goal is to "significantly and permanently improve the welfare of all animals in Australia."

Animals Australia conducts investigations and public awareness campaigns on a range of animal welfare issues, including rodeos, horse racing, the fur trade, animal testing, the dairy industry, fishing, flying fox conservation, kangaroo shooting, exotic animal circuses, shedded sheep, mulesing, duck shooting, puppy farms and greyhound racing. However they are most noted for their major work towards ending factory farming, the live export trade and most recently, greyhound racing.

Their subsidiary group for young animal advocates between the ages 13–26 is Animals Australia Unleashed.

Animals International is the global arm of Animals Australia. Established in 2014, Animals Australia campaigners have provided international colleague groups with evidence relating to cruelty in live exports; lobbied the OIE to improve animal welfare guidelines; worked with the Princess Alia Foundation to improve slaughter practices in Jordan and contributed to creation of animal welfare legislation in Egypt, Mauritius and Jordan, amongst other projects.

Live exports

Animals Australia's investigations in the Middle East in 2006 resulted in the first suspension of the live export trade and a benchmark prosecution of a live export company for cruelty. Their investigations into the export of Australian cattle to Indonesia in 2011 led to a temporary suspension of the trade to Indonesia and the implementation of industry-wide Supply Chain Assurance Standards, monitored by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. The Indonesian investigation led to an expose by ABC TV's Four Corners program entitled "A Bloody Business" which earned the reporters a Gold Walkley Award and Logie for 'Most Outstanding Public Affairs Report'.

Factory farming

In October 2012 Animals Australia launched its largest ever public awareness campaign initiative called "Make it Possible", with the goal of ending factory farming in Australia. A series of advertisements, featuring animated pigs and chickens and a musical soundtrack to the song Somewhere, performed by players from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, was played on commercial television stations and in cinemas. The two-minute film received the 2012 Mobius Award for excellence in advertising for the cinema/in-flight category. The film was accompanied by celebrity endorsements, such as from Michael Caton, Missy Higgins, Dave Hughes, Michelle Bridges, Rove McManus and others. In response to the Make it Possible campaign, Coles supermarkets announced a fast-tracked phase out of battery cage eggs and pork products produced with the use of sow stalls for their home brand products by January 2013.

People

Glenys Oogjes - Executive Director

Glenys Oogjes is one of Australia's longest serving animal advocates. She was raised on a Victorian dairy farm and has a degree in Behavioural Science. She has contributed to many national reviews of Codes of Practice and animal welfare laws in each Australian State and Territory. Oogjes has also worked to achieve greater protection for animals through representation on various committees including the Victorian Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, Institutional Animal Ethics committees, and on the Advisory Committee of the Animal Welfare Science Centre.

Oogjes was one of the instigators of the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy and represents animal advocacy groups on the Australian Animal Welfare Advisory Committee which provides animal welfare advice to the Federal and State Australian Agriculture Ministers.

Lyn White AM - Campaign Director and Investigator

Formerly a South Australian police officer, White served as Australian Director of the Animals Asia Foundation on Southeast Asia animal cruelty issues before joining Animals Australia in 2003. Since 2003, White has conducted numerous investigations in the Middle East and Indonesia into the treatment of live exported animals from Australia.

Evidence gathered has resulted in a leading live export company being prosecuted for animal cruelty and three 60 Minutes and three 7.30 Report segments highlighting brutal treatment of exported Australian animals. White 's January 2006 investigation in Egypt resulted in the Australian Federal Government suspending the live cattle trade to Egypt. In Jordan, White has assisted H.R.H. Princess Alia bint Al Hussein to achieve animal welfare breakthroughs in the country and acts as Chief Advisor to the Princess Alia Foundation. In 2011, footage obtained by White and a co-investigator in 11 Indonesian slaughterhouses processing Australian cattle was featured on ABC's Four Corners program. The resulting story led to the suspension of live exports to Indonesia and unprecedented public and political pressure to end the trade.

White was a state finalist for the 2012 Australian of the Year awards, and was named 2nd in a list of Melbourne's 100 most influential people of 2011 by The Age Melbourne Magazine. She was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2014 Queen's Birthday Honours for "significant service to the community as an animal rights and welfare advocate". She has been described by bioethicist and author of Animal Liberation, Peter Singer, as the most effective animal campaigner of his generation.

Animal Charity Evaluators review

Animals Australia has been one of Animal Charity Evalutors' (ACE) Standout Charities in its annual recommendations since December 2015. ACE designates as Standout Charities those organizations which they do not feel are as strong as their Top Charities, but which excel in at least one way and are exceptionally strong compared to animal charities in general.

In its December 2015 review of Animals Australia, ACE cites Animals Australia's strengths as their "ability to steer public conversation in Australia in a more animal friendly direction", concrete successes such as getting McDonalds to phase out battery eggs, a self-critical mindset, and significant growth in recent years. Their weaknesses, according to ACE, include significant spending to help much smaller populations of animals (e.g. those used in live export or puppy farming, as opposed to animal agriculture), and the fact that its activities are largely confined to Australia.

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