The head of the RSPCA has pledged to make animal welfare an election issue, claiming she is shocked at the number of animals still being mistreated in Australia.
The animal welfare group yesterday launched its Political Animal campaign during an open day at its Malaga headquarters.
The campaign will focus on live exports, battery hens and backyard dog breeding.
RSPCA president Lynne Bradshaw said dogs were suffering needlessly because of misguided backyard breeders.
"Many breeding dogs live in horrendous conditions without adequate food, shelter, veterinary care and love," she said. "RSPCA has current court cases under way involving backyard breeders."
She called for a breeder registration system so all dogs could be traced back to the breeder.
"It amazes me that there's such a consistent number of animals being mistreated," Ms Bradshaw said. "You would think as we become more educated as a community that it wouldn't happen, but I'm sorry to say it does."
The RSPCA is bracing for an influx of unwanted animals in the festive season. To donate, go to www.rspcaguardianangel.com.au