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Animal Justice Party (AJP) is a political party in Australia founded in 2009. The party was registered by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) on 3 May 2011. The party is also registered in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory. The AJP is the first political party in Australia formed solely to advance animal welfare issues.
Policies and philosophy
The preamble of the AJP charter says the party "has been formed as a response to growing public concern about the neglect of animals and animal protection issues by political parties" and states its mission is "to promote and protect the interests and capabilities of animals by providing a dedicated voice for them in Australia's political system". The party aims to give animals constitutional protection based on their sentience, as opposed to their instrumental value. The AJP opposes the export of any live animals for profit, especially slaughter. The party also opposes the eating of meat, and advocates a plant-based diet.
In 2011, following the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's television footage showing abuse and the slaughter of cattle from the Northern Territory in conditions that would not have been permitted in Australia, as well as the consequential nationwide protests by supporters of animal welfare, AJP, along with Animals Australia, the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union (AMIEU), The Greens and a range of other NGOs sought a ban on live animal exports. Steve Garlick, president of AJP, said that rural Australia has been adversely affected by the export of live animals and argued that the export ban would result in economic and social benefit in the country.
At the 2013 federal election, the party was a member of Glenn Druery's Minor Party Alliance but failed to win a seat. The AJP recorded a 0.70% national Senate vote. It was criticised for preferencing the Liberal Party ahead of the Greens in the Senate for the ACT but did this because the Greens had supported the culling of kangaroos in the ACT. This preferencing decision had no impact on the result. At the 2016 federal election, Lynda Stoner, the Chief Executive of Animal Liberation and a former television actress, was the party's candidate for the Senate in New South Wales. She was one of 55 AJP candidates across both houses in the election. The AJP recorded a 1.15% national Senate vote, an increase of 0.46%. The party is fielding candidates at the 2019 federal election.
At the 2015 New South Wales election, Mark Pearson gained 1.8% of the primary vote, and won a seat in the New South Wales Legislative Council on Druery's preference deals, giving the party its first parliamentary representation. At the 2019 New South Wales election the AJP increased its primary vote to 1.95% of the state total and winning a second seat filled by Emma Hurst MLC.
The AJP won its first seat in the Victorian Legislative Council at the 2018 Victorian election elected Andy Meddick MLC. The party also increased its primary vote over that of the 2014 Victorian election. Bruce Poon, the party's president, stood at the 2018 by-election for Lord Mayor of Melbourne achieving 1.63% of the vote.
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- "Young AJP". Animal Justice Party NSW. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
- Massola, James (4 May 2011). "Questions for Pakistan as Bin Laden raid details emerge". The Australian. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
- Electoral Commission of Queensland (6 January 2020). "Political party registrations". www.ecq.qld.gov.au. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
- "Mark Pearson's Maiden Speech in NSW Legislative Assembley" (PDF). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 6 May 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
- "A New Political Party FOR the Animals!". Animals Australia. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
- "Animal Justice Party Our Charter". Animal Justice Party. Archived from the original on 3 June 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
- "Live Animal Exports Animal Justice Party".
- Nicholls, Sean (10 April 2017). "Animal Justice Party MP Mark Pearson admits: 'I strayed ... for that morsel'". The Sydney Morning Herald.
The AJP policy on marine animals states: "Eating fish, whether farmed or wild, is incompatible with AJP's advocacy of a plant-based diet."
- "Human Diet and Animals". Animal Justice Party.
- "Aussies march to end live cattle exports". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
- Jeanes, Tim (21 July 2011). "Animal lobby and meatworkers united against live exports". ABC News. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
- Bitter dispute erupts over Senate preferences in Queensland: ABC 5 September 2013
- Alliance of micro parties boosts odds for likes of One Nation or Shooters and Fishers gaining Senate spot through preferences: Daily Telegraph 5 September 2013
- Past elections: AEC
- "I'll say sorry to Jakarta for cattle ban: Tony Abbott". The Australian. 10 May 2013.
- Crawford, Kate (1 June 2016). "Lynda Stoner, Australian TV's glamour girl of the 1970s, is running for senate at the 2016 federal election". The Daily Telegraph. Australia. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
- Knox, David (2 June 2016). "Lynda Stoner to stand for Senate". TV Tonight. Australia. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
- "Candidates for the 2016 federal election". Australian Electoral Commission. 11 June 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
- "NSW Election 2015: Animal Justice Party wins seat in NSW Upper House". ABC News. 17 April 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
- Official website
- Current register of political parties (Australian Electoral Commission)