What Changed for Animals in 2021?

Posted on by PETA Australia

Despite constant lockdowns and COVID-19’s persistent presence in our lives, this year has been full of positive news for animals! Here are 10 ways the world changed for the better in 2021:

1. New Zealand Will End Live Exports by Sea

In 2020, New Zealand exported almost 3 million live farmed animals overseas. By 2023, that number will be zero. Now all eyes are on Australia to follow suit.

In November, fresh revelations of cruelty in the live-export industry were exposed as PETA released footage that showed the fate of Australian steers and bulls sent to Indonesia. The video reached people all over the world and showed them how these animals suffer for leather bags and boots.

The details of the investigation were published with a full-page report in both The Sydney Morning Herald and The Sunday Age.

A still image from PETA Asia's live export industry investigation in 2021.

2. The Fur Industry Is Really, Truly Dead

Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, and Canada Goose were just a few of the big-name brands that announced a move away from fur in 2021. Remember when Billie Eilish told Oscar de la Renta she would wear its design to the Met Gala in New York only if it committed to banning fur? What a strong statement!

We also persuaded Australian eyelash brand Klepki Cosmetics to ditch mink in favour of luxe faux-fur lashes.

Billie Eilish at the Met Gala

3. Pressure Builds on Designers to Drop Croc and Other Exotic Skins

As the media reported on Hermès’ plans to build Australia’s largest crocodile skin factory farm, PETA activists protested outside all three of the company’s stores in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney.

And after footage showing the gruesome reality of these types of farms was uncovered by the Kindness Project and Farm Transparency Project, we protested together to urge Hermès to drop croc.

Crocodiles aren’t the only reptiles who suffer for this hideous fashion trend. PETA also released footage showing how snakes suffer for bags and boots.

Three PETA protesters outside Hermés

4. PETA Challenges Horse Whipping Cruelty in Criminal Prosecution

In October, PETA took a stand for horses and filed criminal charges in the Magistrates Court of Tasmania, alleging that the whipping of horses at Tasmanian racecourses violates the state’s animal welfare laws. This case has enormous potential to help horses.

This is a case that will be ongoing in 2022 – so make sure you’re on our mailing list to receive important updates.

Horses Used for Racing Suffer© Liss Ralston

5. Jumps Racing Ends in South Australia

Racing SA announced that jumps racing will be abandoned in the state beginning in 2022 as the “sport” has become “unsustainable” amid declining participation. It might not have been the outright ban PETA and our many supporters who wrote to the South Australian government over the years asked for, but the announcement shows an important shift: horse racing is losing its social licence, and the industry knows it.

6. The Show Won’t Go On for Wild Animals in Australian Circuses

No wild animals will be forced any longer to perform under Australia’s big top, after Stardust Circus – the last circus in the country that was  still using wild animals – announced it was retiring the lions and monkeys it used.

A macaque monkey in a cage at the circus© Howard Wright

7. The New South Wales Government Banned the Breeding of Captive Dolphins

After a government inquiry and a long public consultation – in which PETA and many of our supporters took part – new regulations were introduced in New South Wales to prevent the breeding of captive dolphins.

Now the pressure is on Queensland to do the same.

8. Policy Changes for Cosmetics Regulations in China

In 2021, the Chinese government announced that it had created a new pathway for cruelty-free cosmetics in China. As of May, companies were able to market most imported general cosmetics – like shampoo, body wash, lipstick, lotion, and makeup – without the usually required animal testing. This is huge progress!

Rabbit for testing

9. ACCC Stops ‘Certified Humane’ Label From Coming to Australia

After hearing from PETA and other groups such as the RSPCA and Vegan Australia, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission rejected an application by the US-based and misleadingly named Humane Farm Animal Care to bring the “Certified Humane” label to Australia.

As we stated in our submission, such a label would only be a feel-good marketing ploy to dupe consumers and contribute nothing to the welfare of animals.

10. We Campaigned Against the Construction of New Puppy Mills and Factory Farms – and Won

Our petition objections to development applications helped stop animal exploiters in their tracks. We saw plans for a sheep milk factory farm in Inverleigh and puppy mills on the Sunshine Coast and in Cardinia Shire all rejected by local councils.

a happy dog

These are the big headline-grabbing victories, but there were so many other moments along the way worth celebrating, too. With our striking demos, thought-provoking billboards (check out the photos in the gallery below), and bold social media campaigns, we were louder than ever for animals in 2021.

Every single one of us can make a difference. Whether it’s a signature on a petition, a vegan meal with a friend, or a comment on social media, we can all be advocates for kindness. Animals need you in 2022. How can you show up for them?

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