Animal Welfare in Australia

Politics and policy

Peter John Chen

Regular price $45.00 Sale

Format: paperback
428 pages
ISBN: 9781743324738

Publication: 19 Sep 2016
Series: Animal Politics
Publisher: Sydney University Press

Read online: Open access
Buy ebook: Google Play Kindle iBookstore

“Peter J. Li’s pathbreaking new book, Animal Welfare in China, is timely and valuable.” ANTHROZOÖS

The issue of animal welfare has attracted attention in Australia in recent decades. Activists and welfare organisations have become increasingly vigorous in promoting a new ethical relationship between humans and animals, and in challenging practices they identify as inhumane. In 2011 this agitation culminated in the temporary suspension of cattle live exports, with significant economic and political implications for Australia. Similar campaigns have focused on domestic food production systems and the use of animals in entertainment.

Despite this increased interest, the policy process remains poorly understood. Animal Welfare in Australia is the first Australian book to examine the topic in a systematic manner. Without taking a specific ethical position, Peter John Chen draws on a wide range of sources – including activists, industry representatives and policy makers – to explain how policy is made and implemented. He explores the history of animal welfare in Australia, examines public opinion and media coverage of key issues, and comprehensively maps the policy domain. He shows how diverse social, ethical and economic interests interact to produce a complex and unpredictable climate.

Animal Welfare in Australia will be of interest to scholars and practitioners of public policy, those interested in issues of animal welfare, and anyone wishing to understand how competing interests interact in the contemporary Australian policy landscape.

Some supplementary graphs and images can be found at

Dr Peter John Chen is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Government and International Relations where he teaches Australian and regional politics, media politics, and public policy. He is the author of Animal Welfare in Australia: Politics and Policy (2016) and Australian Politics in a Digital Age (2013) and the co-editor of Double Disillusion: The 2016 Australian Federal Election (2018).

List of figures
List of acronyms

Part 1
1. History
2. Ethics

Part 2
3. Attitudes to animals
4. In the media
5. Mapping the policy domain

Part 3
6. Animal protectionism
7. Animal-using industry
8. Political and administrative policy elites

Appendix A: research methods
Appendix B: major ethical positions regarding animals
Appendix C: Australian animal protection organisations – a sample
Appendix D: animal-using industry in Australia – representative bodies and their relationships with policy-makers
Appendix E: timeline of animal welfare policy in Australia
Appendix F: significant legal instruments
Appendix G: top Google queries relating to the 10 most frequently searched-for animals

Reference list

Supplementary materials not in the book
Policy network map
Issue mentions in newspapers
Event mentions in newspapers

'The scope of this book is impressive. Thorough to a fault, it is no doubt the book for policy scholars interested in animal welfare in Australia. It will be on the reading list for my own interest group and lobbying class, and I suspect it will be on many an Australian public policy reading lists.'
Darren Halpin   Australasian Parliamentary Review

'This book contributes to the development of a theoretical context of the politics of truth about our relationship with non-human animals by encouraging a deeper level of reflection on the way in which our fragmented policy framework is established and administered. It is not written from an ‘activist’ perspective, as are most publications in this genre.'
Jackson Walkden-Brown   Alternative Law Journal

‘Peter Chen’s book is the first of its kind, and a riveting read for anyone who is interested, intrigued, perplexed or passionate about animal welfare.’
Anne Boxhall   The Hobart Mercury

‘[The book's] approach provides a unique glimpse into both the ministerial decision-making process as well as opinions from within the animal industry - perspectives that are rarely canvased thoroughly in animal welfare texts.’
Jordan Sosnowski   Journal of Animal Ethics

‘Hugely informative book is an excellent analysis of the factors that have influenced these changes, from the perspective of a political scientist who has, in the course of his research, developed a deep understanding of the animal protection movement ... Being able to view events from a range of perspectives inevitably leads to better decision-making, and this book provides an excellent means for those involved in animal welfare policy to do just that.’
Bidda Jones   Animal Welfare

'This book will be an instant classic among animal studies scholars in Australia.'
Siobhan O'Sullivan   Knowing Animals

Format: paperback
Size: 210 × 148 mm
428 pages
16 colour illustrations, 19 b&w illustrations, and 45 b&w tables
Copyright: © 2016
ISBN: 9781743324738
Publication: 19 Sep 2016
Series: Animal Politics