The Animal Justice Party believes that we owe a duty of justice to all animals. For animals who we have daily relationships with, who are domesticated, we owe specific duties. For those animals who are distant to us, and who we rarely or never interact with, we owe a duty to not harm, or to rectify harms we have directly or indirectly caused.
Human activities such as deforestation for animal agriculture, mining, and development, frequently displace and injure wildlife as a form of collateral damage. We believe that we have a duty to other species who also reside in this country, to both minimise our impacts on their habitat and also to care for wildlife who are the victims of human activities.
Wildlife are non-human animals who largely live free and independent lives, with little contact with humans other than when they are subject to harms through development, mining, hunting or habitat destruction. Despite the lack of contact between domesticated human animals, and wild non-human animals, the relationships between the two are complex ones.In our tendency towards industrialisation and development, our actions have exposed wildlife to particular vulnerabilities. – Direct and intentional violence under the names of “management”, “sport” or “research” (hunting, fishing, trapping, kidnapping, testing, killing and experimenting) – Habitat loss as humans continue to encroach into the domain of wildlife in ways which destroy habitat and denies them the space, resources and ecosystem viability the need to survive. – Spillover harms: the countless ways in which the built environment interferes with, and imposes risks upon, animals (highways, airplanes, boats, air pollution, ocean acidification).
Wildlife rescue organisations such as WIRES and BADGAR among others report that has been an increase in all kinds of animals being displaced and injured, requiring rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming.Wildlife are injured, displaced and killed primarily because of deforestation, urban development, fires, inclement and unexpected weather, and a change in habitat through ecological damage caused by human activities. Victoria is home to over a dozen small wildlife rescue organisations, all staffed by volunteers and funded by the general public:
Wildlife who are rescued by the public are done so based on the good will of the community, and a genuine concern to minimise the harm cause to other species. However, there is scant funding and few resources for such good samaritan behaviour. The need to rescue, rehabilitate, care for and regime wildlife is growing, due to human activities, and it must be addressed at a government level.Furthermore, there is a need for training and support for wildlife rescuers, and education for members of the public. Education regarding rescuing at risk wildlife, but also education about co-existing in the same landscape, as many people just do not know what to do.
Wild animals need no passport, or human permission to live life according to their species and individual preferences. Just as we do, other species have ways to live, die, eat, breed, work and play. They have their own likes and dislikes, morality and intelligence. We rarely have anything directly to do with each other.
Therefore, we do not have a duty to police the animal world. But when we have as a species – been responsible for visiting harms upon them, we believe we owe positive duties of justice to wild animals, to redress some of those harms caused through human activities, in a way that respects their interests, preferences and agency. We recommend legislating, streamlining and facilitating wildlife rescue in order to correct the harms we have caused.
Current legislation categorised certain animals into certain groups according to whether we feel they need protection of not. The unfortunate aspect of our legislation regarding animals, is that protections are easily and frequented eroded, in that same legislation. of protection that can be easily eroded.
This is why wildlife need our active and specific protection, and why, when they are under threat of human activities, or their homes or health are damaged due to human activities, we must have a policy to ensure their rescue, protection, rehabilitation and rehoming. However, it would be prudent to consider their needs along with our own, rather than try to mop up the damage afterwards. We are less likely to need rescue, if we consider animals environment and plan accordingly: