Vets call for ecologically sustainable development

With millions of native animals either killed or imperilled each year by the destruction or deterioration of their habitats, the Australian Veterinary Association recently ratified a new policy on Native Animal Welfare (Habitat Clearing), signifying the AVA’s dedication to supporting environmental protection, wildlife conservation and animal welfare.

“This new Native Animal Welfare policy is important as it recognises the threat of habitat clearing and advocates important steps to mitigate key issues,” said Dr Michael Banyard from the Australian Veterinary Conservation Biology special interest group of the AVA.

“These include minimising the area of native vegetation impacted, assessing the biodiversity risks and considering codes of conduct to monitor and support animals displaced where possible.

“This policy reinforces the AVA’s position as a key animal welfare advocate. Animal welfare legislation in a number of states also needs to be amended to ensure that exemptions from prosecution are replaced by a duty of care to ensure that native animals impacted by habitat clearing are given the same level of protection as other animals.”

Multiple member special interest groups of the AVA, along with the AVA Board were involved in developing the new policy, which highlights the valued role of the veterinary profession as a trusted and balanced voice in the community.