Animals are sentient beings that consciously and subjectively feel joy, fear, pleasure and suffering. To the very vast majority of us, this is not a controversial statement - we have all interacted with animals and seen it for ourselves.
But in New South Wales, our laws are stuck firmly in the past. Currently, instead of recognising the inherent value of animals, our laws consider them animate property that can feel only pain or its absence.
That's why I have introduced a Bill to NSW Parliament to explicitly recognise animal sentience in animal welfare laws.
If passed, this law reform would not only recognise that animals are thinking, feeling beings with individual personalities and the capacity to experience a range of positive and negative states, from joy to fear, pleasure to suffering.
In recognising that animals have a range of positive and negative physical, mental and emotional experiences, this Bill would extend the existing duty of care of animal caregivers to ensure that animals in their care are free from unnecessary pain to also include the responsibility to provide the animal with the opportunity for positive experiences like comfort, interest, pleasure, and enjoyment.
This would lay the foundation for which we can build stronger and better animal welfare standards in NSW.
Will you join me in fighting for this reform by emailing the Minister and Shadow Minister responsible for our welfare laws?