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Quite simply the protection of animal welfare must become embedded as a serious goal of government to have any hope of genuine success.
Our research shows that a package of systemic reforms is essential to transform the government machine to one that values animal welfare and compassionate public opinion. This will not be easy to achieve, but the sooner animal advocates begin to work at this level, the sooner these vital fundamental changes will happen.
The CASJ has identified three critical areas of reform:
1) Government Animal Protection Commission (APC) – a government institution to ensure the interests of animals are represented in decisions affecting their welfare and lives.
2) Animal Welfare Audit – monitoring animal welfare standards, assessing the animal welfare impact of new policies and setting targets for improvement are essential components of a society that cares about preventing cruelty.
3) Deliberative Democracy – bringing the public into rational decision-making on animal protection is necessary to stop the dominance of animal harm industries and produce sound, well-informed policies.
The APC is the cornerstone of these reforms as it would provide the concrete, institutional home for animal welfare auditing and deliberative decision-making.
For this proposal to win support in the political sphere, it is vital that the animal protection movement unites to campaign for the creation of an APC. So far we have attracted support for the APC from sixteen of the UK’s leading animal protection organisations and are working to enlist remaining organisations. In time, a consensus in favour of an APC will develop – the idea will be accepted as inevitable - the more momentum we build behind the proposal, the harder it will become to ignore.
The CASJ is researching and promoting these three reform areas while examining other policies that could protect animals.