Launched this week, the AJF will promote the cause of animal welfare through strategic litigation, public awareness campaigns and the prosecution of persons or businesses who commit offences against animals used in intensive farming or through commercial and/or recreational practices.
Few Australians are aware that 500 million production animals each year in Australia are denied the legal protection from acts of cruelty that is afforded to dogs and cats. Many cruel practices on factory farms – such as severe confinement, and surgical procedures without pain relief – are exempt from animal welfare laws. All would be cruelty offences if those same acts were inflicted on cats or dogs, as they cause pain and suffering.
With virtually no unannounced inspections of factory farms across the country, resulting in substandard monitoring of regulations, and the suffering of millions of individuals, the need to encourage those who witness cruelty to come forward is more critical than ever.
Businesswoman, animal advocate, and founder of Kathmandu Jan Cameron recognised this, inspiring her to financially back the fund.
"Just because animals are raised for food doesn't lessen their ability to suffer or our ethical responsibility to protect them from harm. I have funded the Animal Justice Fund because Australians don't realise that legislators have been selective about which animals laws will protect from cruelty and which they won't. To compound the injustice, in many states, governments have limited the powers of policing bodies to conduct unannounced inspections of factory farms despite the fact that these facilities can house many thousands of animals" said Ms Cameron.
The AJF will offer rewards of up to $30,000 to industry workers for information that leads to successful prosecutions or significant animal welfare outcomes. The AJF will also be working closely with state enforcement agencies, and will be advised by the Barrister's Animal Welfare Panel.
The launch of the AJF is currently making headlines around the country and will be followed with ongoing announcements in rural papers, to ensure it remains in the forefront of the minds of those involved in factory farming industries.
The objectives of the Animal Justice Fund are
Find out more about the AJF at AnimalJusticeFund.org