Blue Mountains City Council has been named the Most Animal Friendly Council in Australia.
Louise Ward, the NSW State Director of the Animal Justice Party, said Blue Mountains City Council was awarded the title, and an Animal Champion Award, in recognition of the organisation being "such a strong advocate for animals and [for] leading with kindness and compassion".
Specifically, the council was recognised for achieving a ban on the sale of imported fur and other exotic animal skins on council land, for recognising animal sentience (this is where animals are understood to have subjective experiences and feelings), for preventing animal circuses from hiring council land, and most recently, for banning the use of 1080 poison in council operations.
Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill said: "Over the past few decades, community awareness and expectations regarding animal welfare issues has grown exponentially. Increasingly, our community will not tolerate cruelty to animals in any form, whether it be as a result of fur production, or from being kept in inhumane conditions for food production or from being killed in inhumane ways.
"We take the welfare of the multitude of animals that live in our world heritage protected area seriously and we are honoured to receive this award. We will continue to take active steps at all levels of government to ensure that the appropriate protections are in place to ensure that animals are treated with dignity and respect."
The council-endorsed Blue Mountains Sustainability Model recognises that nature and the natural world are an intrinsic part of 'improving our quality of life and the life of the planet' which is stated as one of the key goals of our 2035 Community Strategic Plan.