David Bramante is the Animal Justice Party’s (AJP) candidate for Northcote. Bramante has been involved in animal rights activism since 2006.
“I have participated in many rallies, outreach events and for two years was running my own stall in the CBD educating the public about the dark and brutal secrets that the meat, dairy and egg industries deliberately keep from us”, he said.
Despite a growing distrust of politicians and the political process, Bramante has decided to stand as a candidate to give animals a voice in parliament.
“Like it or not, politics plays a crucial element in securing protection for animals. The power to make the huge gains they so desperately need from us lies within the parliamentary system”, he said.
Bramante, who joined the party in 2016, believes that animals need representation in the political system.
“Usually the only voices heard in Parliament regarding animals belong to those whose interests lie solely in exploiting them for profit”, he said.
Therefore, several of the party’s aims include increased legal penalties for animal cruelty, ending live export, banning greyhound racing and puppy farms, a total ban on duck shooting and ending factory farming such as hens kept in battery cages.
Asked about the difference between the Animal Justice Party and other progressive parties such as the Greens, Bramante responded that the party has a more comprehensive focus. “And by way of our principles of kindness, equality, rationality and non-violence oppose the killing of any animals”. He added that the Greens supported culls on animals such as deer for conservation, and did not have a large enough focus on the, “catastrophic impact animal agriculture is having on our climate”.
Bramante pointed to Australia’s 2018 submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change which states that livestock production will produce more emissions (218.40 million tonnes of green house gases) compared to all coal and gas-fired electricity production (194.40 million tonnes) in the next 20 years.
However, this information could not be traced further than a graph from the Animal Justice Party’s policy information sheet on climate change. According to a June 2018 report from the Climate Council for the year until December 2017 Agriculture accounted for around 13 per cent of Australia’s emissions. Whereas electricity accounted for around 35 per cent.
Bramante did suggest, however, that a number of Animal Justice Party and Greens policies and aims were similar.
“Therefore the Greens are placed highly in our preferences”, he said.
On the issue of potentially winning the seat, Bramante is realistic about his chances and says it is most likely to be a competition between Labor and the Greens. However, he thought that the AJP, “has a real chance of winning an upper house seat in this election”.
Aside from seeking to provide other creatures with a voice in parliament, Bramante believes the “dire situation of the climate emergency” would be on the minds of Northcote voters. He suggested that voters would be looking closely at the records and policy positions of parties on this issue.
Bramante also highlighted public transport, especially increased trams and trains along the Mernda line, overcrowding and lack of maintenance and funding for Northcote’s public schools and funding for mental health services as other vital issues in this election.