Australian vet body accuses government of being short-sighted


Australia’s top veterinary body is accusing the federal government of being short-sighted over its decision to end its involvement with the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS).

The Australian Veterinary Association described the government’s decision as a great disappointment.

“The AAWS is the only place where all the organisations involved with animals in our country can work together collaboratively,” the association’s president, Dr Ben Gardiner, said.

“The establishment of the AAWS was visionary and became a world-leading initiative.

“We just can’t understand how such a valuable program can be dropped unceremoniously and without warning, especially at a time when community and global interest in animal welfare issues is at an all-time high.”

Gardiner said the AAWS was a fantastic initiative of the former Howard government in 2005, describing it as both cost-effective and effective.

“Whether companion animals, livestock, wildlife or animals used in sport and recreation, the AAWS is the best opportunity we have to make a real difference to animal welfare,” he said.

“We urge the government not to abrogate its responsibility, to retain this vital initiative, and to provide national leadership on animal welfare,” Gardiner said.

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