Topic: The Australian farming industry: what's really at steak? A critique of the welfare standards regulating the treatment of Australian farmed animals

Presenter: Katrina Craig - MPhil Candidate, TC Beirne School of Law

This thesis analyses the legal standards and welfare guidelines which regulate the treatment of Australian farmed animals, with an emphasis on intensive farming practices and the live export industry. Current legislative provisions are largely directed towards companion animals, while farmed animals are only afforded protection under guidelines loosely underpinned by statutory schema. As such, the welfare standards designed to protect domestic animals appear to be relative to the extent that these animals affect productivity and profit. The welfare of farmed animals is therefore placed secondary to their capacity to contribute to Australia's economy. 

This thesis will propose a revised framework for Australian legal standards, with the aim of striking a balance between the interests of the Australian agribusiness industry, on the one hand, and animal welfare, on the other. The research will examine the role of ideal and non-ideal theory as a foundation to achieving this balance. Specifically, it will be concluded that the laws and regulations which govern the husbandry, use, and transportation of Australian farmed animals require reform, in accordance with the sentience position as a non-ideal theory of justice, to allow higher welfare standards to be achieved without sacrificing the wellbeing of the Australian agribusiness industry.

Contact: Law Events, email:

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