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We at Association against Animal Factories (VGT) are dedicated to reducing animal exploitation and abuse and stopping these practices in the long run. VGT is an independent association, unaffiliated to any political party and entirely financed by public donations.
The work of VGT would not be possible without the time, creativity and commitment that volunteer activists invest into furthering animal rights. Indeed, VGT sees its role as empowering and supporting members of civil society alarmed by the treatment of animals, to exercise their democratic rights for change.
There is no ethically acceptable reason to exclude non-human animals from having the same basic rights afforded to humans. The ability to suffer is the defining criterion for membership in a community guaranteeing basic rights. These basic rights are to be protected regardless of whether their violation is culturally, historically or religiously motivated.
VGT follows the vision of a fair, ecological and ethically responsible coexistence with all beings in the world. We employ modern and efficient instruments of political activism as well as awareness raising to realise our goals. VGT operates under a strict no-violence policy.
What we do in more detail
Most of our activities lead to more than one result. By regularly being in the media, we are able to inform people about the conditions in factory farms for example, and make them aware of animal issues. With our demonstrations, information stalls, tours and actions we are able to reach many people and expose important facts about the treatment of animals.
After many years of direct campaigning, VGT has achieved an impressive set of laws protecting animals that sets a new standard worldwide. Here are some important milestones on our way to realising animal rights. VGT brought about these changes or supported their realisation in cooperation with other groups.
- An end to slatted flooring and a demand for straw for Austrian pigs
- ETCA – European Citizens’ Initiative: No more caged farming in the EU!
- Calf transport – public scandal on life animal transport in the milk industry
- CO2 stunning of pigs – Still cruel
- An end to the horse-drawn carriage trade
- Piglet Castration – Campaign for banning castration without anaesthetic
- Campaign for abolishing the shooting of captive bred animals in Austria
- Management of wild animals to replace hunting in Vienna's Lainzer Tiergarten woodland and park
- Improvements to the law governing the horse and carriage trade
- 2015 came into effect in 2016
- Improvements to the law concerning animal cruelty (§ 222 StGB)
- Ban on fairs for the sale of wild animals
- Austrian Ombudsman Board declares tethering of cattle unlawful
- Successful challenge to the attempt to increase stocking density of poultry
- Austrian constitution amended to include animal welfare
- 2012 came into effect in 2015
- Implementation of criteria catalogue used to evaluate applications to carry out animal experiments
- 2011 taking effect in 2033
- Ban on the use of sow stalls
- 2008 – 2014
- The Austrian Animal Protection Trial: Following many successful campaigns for better animal protection, VGT experienced shocking levels of state repression. The most infuential activists in Austria where detained and accused of being members of a criminal organisation. In the end the verdict was
not guilty on any countbut the fight against this attempt to silence animal welfare work in Austria lasted many years.
- Legal challenge to appoint a legal guardian for Chimp Matthias Pan aka
Hiasl, meaning he would be recognised by the court as having personhood according to Austrian law.
- 2007 came into effect in 2012
- Ban on keeping rabbits used for meat in cages
- 2006 came into effect in 2007
- All supermarkets and discount stores in Austria stop selling battery eggs
- Ban on the use of great apes in experiments
- New law implemented on pheasant breeding
- 2004 agreed on, but enacted only after our renewed campaign in 2013
- Austrian parliamentary parties support a unanimous motion to ask the government to include
the protection of life and well-being of animalsalongside human rights into the constitution
- 2004 came into effect in 2009
- Ban on battery farms for laying hens
- 2004 came into effect in 2005
- Enactment of the Austrian Federal Animal Protection act
- Animal ombudsmen appointed in each Austrian province
- 2002 came into effect in 2005
- Ban on the use of wild animals in circuses
- Closure of all fur farms in Austria. Ban on fur farms in 6 provinces. (In the remaining 3 provinces stronger laws and regulations made selling fur unprofitable. This resulted in there being no fur farms in Austria after 1998. A federal ban came into force as part of the 2005 animal protection act.)
- Ban on ram fighting in Zillertal in Tyrol
- Animal ombudsman to take up cases on behalf of animal victims.
- Establishment of inspection body for the treatment of farmed animals
- Implementation of ultra violet light used for egg inspection. This ended the scandal of selling cheaply produced eggs from caged hens as eggs from hens kept in improved systems.