Welfare of Non-Human Animals

Animal Welfare, Australia

Australia’s state and territory governments have primary responsibility for animal welfare and laws to prevent cruelty. The Australian Government is responsible for trade and international agreements relating to animal welfare. We work with exporters to maintain international export standards.

Are animals really better off? Not the millions who aren’t protected
Published on September 27, 2010
In late October 2010 there will be meeting sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to recognize improvements that have been made in animal welfare. But, are laboratory animals really better off now then in past years? Consider that about 15-20 million rodents are used in research each year in the United States (actual numbers are not reported). Consider also that we know mice display empathy and feel their own pain and that of other mice and this study was published four years ago. Furthermore, the empathic response in mice is mediated by the same brain mechanisms as it is humans. Have these scientific facts, demonstrated by a prestigious research group at McGill University and published in a prestigious scientific journal, Science, been factored into increased protection for mice and other rodents? No. So, it’s fair to ask why not? Why are mice and other animals still ignored by the federal Animal Welfare Act despite the fact that they are sentient beings, just like the relatively few species and individuals who are protected.



We Care animal welfare Magaizne Simon Bryant

Animal welfare activists threaten nation’s agriculture

The Gothenburg Times ^ | July 10, 2009 | Elizabeth Barrett

Clouds loom over agriculture today.

According to Roger Berry, the average American is three generations removed from the farm while animal rights groups don’t understand the importance of animal agricultural.

“We’re in danger of losing animal agriculture,” said Berry, the field director for the Alliance for the Future of Agriculture.

Measuring the Progress of Animal Protection

HRC’s New “Key Indicators” Study

A new collaborative study from the Humane Research Council that proposes to
evaluate the status of animal protection in the U.S.


Animal advocates are making significant headway in our pursuit of a more humane world. The progress is evident from public opinion surveys, recent ballot initiatives, and consumer advocacy campaigns. But are we winning the war or just a few key battles? The extent to which conditions for animals are improving is unclear, and further research is needed to answer this question. Advocates in the U.S., the largest animal-consuming nation in the world, must collectively do more to evaluate the status of the animals we seek to help.

That’s why the Humane Research Council (HRC) is initiating a revolutionary new study to evaluate the state of animal protection in the U.S. based on a diverse set of key indicators. This new study will go hand-in-hand with HRC’s current research that evaluates public opinion. HRC’s Animal Tracker, now in its second year, is a survey of animal-related opinions and behavior. This new “Key Indicators” study will complement the Animal Tracker by collecting information that cannot be obtained from public opinion surveys – including data from government, academic, and industry sources – to provide a comprehensive understanding of the status of animal protection.

The Key Indicators study involves essential research that will measure the momentum of animal protection over time, both for the U.S. overall and for a set of specific and important individual metrics. In most cases, the study will not be able to distinguish between the efforts of animal advocates and other factors. But advocates can still learn much by understanding both where we’re at and where we’re going. In short, this new study proposed by HRC will help advocates understand whether or not the status of animals in the U.S. is improving.


The new study will be modeled on a similar project by the United Kingdom’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), entitled “The Welfare State: Measuring Animal Welfare in the UK.” This study has become an essential tool for advocates in the UK to understand how they are progressing on a variety of important areas of animal protection. For the U.S., HRC will evaluate a diverse set of key indicators covering a wide range of animal issues and track both positive and negative changes in those metrics over time.

Similar to the RSPCA’s approach, the HRC study will include a set of “generic” indicators that describe the overall progress for animal protection in the U.S. For instance, the amount of discussion generated by animal issues in the media or the number of new animal protection laws that are passed both provide an overall sense of progress when combined with other indicators. We will also identify metrics for specific areas of animal protection, including items like the number of farmed animals slaughtered or the number of hunters per capita.

The Key Indicators study will identify metrics and collect data for each of the following main areas of animal protection:

  • Farm animals
  • Research animals
  • Companion animals
  • Wildlife and exotics
  • General indicators

The indicators selected will include a variety of metrics relating to the full span of animal protection issues. Together, they will provide a clear picture of the overall state of animal protection in the U.S. More importantly, this study will help animal advocates gain some understanding of progress over time and establish meaningful benchmarks for the future. For further examples of possible metrics, refer to the details of the RSPCA study here (Note: not all of the same data will be available in the U.S.).


As of October 2009, HRC is very pleased to announce that we have fully funded the initial phase of the Key Indicators study, thanks to the generous sponsorship of nine animal protection organizations and contributions from a number of individuals. Thank you!

Of course, HRC will continue to accept donations to support this study, which will require additional time and resources to update as new data becomes available. Please donate to help us maintain this important study for years to come, to give advocates a long-term perspective of the changing status of animals in the U.S.

Mich. Gov. Granholm Signs Historic Farm Animal Welfare Measure

Michigan Humane Society, The HSUS and Farm Sanctuary applaud enactment of compromise bill to improve treatment of animals

The Humane Society of the United States

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed a landmark bill today that will, for the first time, extend modest yet meaningful protections to farm animals. A result of extensive negotiations between humane and agricultural groups, the law requires that certain farm animals have enough room to stand up, lie down, turn around and extend their limbs, rather than being confined in tiny cages.

Animal welfare groups — including the Michigan Humane Society, The Humane Society of the United States and Farm Sanctuary — applauded Gov. Granholm for signing the bill and lawmakers, agricultural groups, and environmental groups for supporting the measure.

H.B. 5127 phases out veal crates for calves within three years, and battery cages for laying hens and gestation crates for breeding sows within ten years. The state has more than ten million laying hens, approximately 100,000 breeding pigs and is ranked by the Cattleman’s Beef Board as a top veal-producing state (no official numbers are available).

Michigan becomes the seventh state to ban gestation crates, the fifth to ban veal crates and the second to ban battery cages. Arizona, California and Florida have passed similar measures through ballot initiatives, and Maine, Colorado and Oregon have passed related laws in their state legislatures.

“All stakeholders realize that we must move in the direction of improved animal welfare standards, and this legislation provides a roadmap to move us in that direction,” remarked Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. “All animals deserve humane treatment, including those raised for food.”

“This law represents modest yet important advancements for farm animals in our state,” said Michigan Humane Society President Cal Morgan. “I want to extend my gratitude to Reps. Pamela Byrnes and Mike Simpson for their leadership in bringing the parties together to forge a reasonable compromise.”

“Giving animals at least enough room to turn around and extend their limbs is something we can all support,” Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, said. “We applaud Governor Granholm for signing this important reform.”


Human Overpopulation- Animal Welfare Institute

‘As wildlife habitat shrinks to meet the land-consumption needs of an increasing human population, conflicts between humans and wildlife increase concomitantly. In India, human-elephant conflicts have resulted in farmers poisoning waterholes used by elephants who farmers contend have destroyed their crops. Amur tigers in Russia and lions in West and Central Africa have been slaughtered after coming in conflict with livestock owners. Grizzly bears are killed in the American west as
Marlene Halverson/AWI
In The Food Revolution, John Robbins notes that 1.4 billion people could be fed on the grains and soybeans eaten by US livestock. Animals suffer in the corporate factories that supplant family farms.
developments spring up in grizzly habitat and land is converted for livestock grazing. While humane solutions to these human-animal conflicts are sought, such as animal relocation, fence building, or guard dog use, often the solution chosen is to butcher the offending wild animals.
Many of the world’s forested areas are being wiped out to make room for food production, including the erection of commercial farms and the conversion of woodlands to cattle grazing areas. Meanwhile, in order to feed people the meat-based diet to which they have become accustomed or to which they aspire, more land is converted from small family farms to huge intensive corporate factories. The result: food production systems that exacerbate diseases such as “mad cow,” foot-and-mouth, salmonella, E. coli, and others. The UN reports that in order to accommodate the “nearly 8 billion people expected on earth by 2025 and improve their diets, the world will have to double food production over current levels.” We will continue to feed massive amounts of grain to livestock in order to feed small amounts of animal-based protein to humans. Again, the ecological scales are out of whack.
As the human population increases, the amount of natural resources we collectively consume will increase as well. More humans, for instance, means more consumption of fish—but global fisheries are already “fully exploited, overfished, depleted, or slowly recovering” according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Many fish species are going commercially extinct; biological extinction may soon follow. Bluefin tuna, Patagonian toothfish, and sturgeon are all over-exploited in global fisheries.

A dismal consequence of fishery depletion is the expansion of aquaculture, or captive rearing of fish for food consumption. These fish farms, according to Population Action International, may “disperse pollutants that include excessive levels of nutrients, agricultural chemicals that can be hazardous in foods, and antibiotics that contribute to the evolution of drug-resistant diseases.”

In the United States Congress, a resolution was introduced by Congressman Tom Sawyer of Ohio to express “the sense of the Congress that the United States should develop, promote, and implement…domestic and international policies necessary to create a balance between the world’s human population and the natural environment that is sustainable over the long term.” The Resolution recognizes, “wild habitats that shelter endangered plants and animals are giving way to excessive human activities, resulting in an extensive loss of biodiversity.” As a huge consuming nation of 281,421,906 people (as of 2000), US leadership in mitigating the negative impacts of human population growth is vital.

Roots of Human Behavior

Price: $8.00


By Viktor Reinhardt

Animal Welfare Institute

ISBN 978-0-938414-90-2

141 pages

Download PDF Version

Roots of Human Behavior is a vibrant photo documentation of the parallels between animal and human expressions, emotions and psychology. It is another book in a series of AWI publications whose purpose is to improve the treatment of captive animals. A prominent mind in the field of laboratory science, as well as a veterinarian and ethologist, Reinhardt has collected more than 280 candid photos of animals and humans engaging in everyday life and has artfully grouped them to show stunning resemblances between the species. According to the author, the book’s primary purpose is to serve as a guide for professionals working with animals in research laboratories and zoos to help them better “read” subjects based on their expressions. Reinhardt explains in the introduction how the book was inspired by a deep reverence for all living creatures, and expresses his wish to foster a similar sensation in the reader. The book is divided into two chapters: social and nonsocial expressions of emotion. Those chapters are then subdivided by various emotional states, such as contentment, fear, aggression, and friendly contact behavior, among others. A fascinating and heartwarming work for both laboratory professionals and everyday folks, the lively photos and scientific references in this book will further an understanding in readers and provide enjoyment for all ages and walks of life. This book will be provided free of charge to personnel working with animals in laboratories or zoos.  Call (202) 337-2332 to obtain a copy.

1.  Animal rights group wins award – ABC News

A northern rivers animal welfare group has won international recognition. <!– www.abc.net.au > news > stories > 2009 > 11 > 16 > 2743761.htm – –>

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/11/16/2743761.htm – 16 Nov 2009

2.  Animal rights – The Law Report – 22-December-2009 –

Our attitude to animals is contradictory. Many of us share our homes with pets, yet most of us eat meat. The law at least is consistent: animals are property, nothing more. But US lawyers are trying to push the envelope through the courts: guardians have been appointed for animals and the best interests of the pet considered in family law disputes. Meanwhile, in Spain the parliament wants to grant legal personhood to primates. <!– www.abc.net.au > rn > lawreport > stories > 2009 > 2764558.htm – –>

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/lawreport/stories/2009/2764558.htm – 22 Dec 2009

3.  Farmers invest in tourism to combat animal rights groups. – 29/10/2009

Coverage of rural industries and issues. <!– www.abc.net.au > rural > nt > content > 200910 > s2727999.htm – –>

http://www.abc.net.au/rural/nt/content/200910/s2727999.htm – 29 Oct 2009

4.  NT animal tests an unknown quantity, says animal rights group – ABC News

An organisation that monitors testing on animals says the Northern Territory is an unknown quantity because the government hasn’t provided any information about what kinds of research occurs <!– www.abc.net.au > news > stories > 2008 > 09 > 29 > 2377204.htm – –>

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/09/29/2377204.htm – 29 Sep 2008

5.  AWI director questions deal with animal rights group – 09/07/2009

Coverage of rural industries and issues. <!– www.abc.net.au > rural > tas > content > 2009 > 07 > s2621428.htm – –>

http://www.abc.net.au/rural/tas/content/2009/07/s2621428.htm – 9 Jul 2009

6.  AWI director questions deal with animal rights group – 09/07/2009

Coverage of rural industries and issues. <!– www.abc.net.au > rural > news > content > 200907 > s2621217.htm – –>

http://www.abc.net.au/rural/news/content/200907/s2621217.htm – 9 Jul 2009

7.  Animal rights win seats in Dutch Parliament – 25/01/2008

Coverage of rural industries and issues. <!– www.abc.net.au > rural > vic > content > 2006 > s2146667.htm – –>

http://www.abc.net.au/rural/vic/content/2006/s2146667.htm – 25 Jan 2008

8.  Animal rights activists learn how to lobby media – 08/04/2005

Coverage of rural industries and issues. <!– www.abc.net.au > rural > vic > stories > s1341200.htm – –>

http://www.abc.net.au/rural/vic/stories/s1341200.htm – 8 Apr 2005

9.  Animal rights protesters plead guilty over wharf rally – ABC News

Seven animal rights protesters have pleaded guilty to trespass in Tasmania’s Devonport Criminal Court <!– www.abc.net.au > news > stories > 2006 > 06 > 01 > 1653145.htm – –>

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2006/06/01/1653145.htm – 1 Jun 2006

10.  RSPCA fears extreme animal rights infiltration – ABC News

The RSPCA in South Australia says other more extreme animal rights groups are trying to take over the organisation <!– www.abc.net.au > news > stories > 2007 > 08 > 31 > 2020187.htm – –>

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/08/31/2020187.htm – 31 Aug 2007