Animals activists are standing fast in the fight for equal rights for all earthlings and that often means going against the mainstream by protesting, and protecting the voiceless.
The Berejiklian Government’s decision yesterday to put in place new penalties prosecuting animal rights activists has been slammed by the Animal Justice Party who say the decision is regressive and goes against community expectations.
Animal Justice Party MP, Emma Hurst says the Berejiklian Government’s decision condones animal cruelty. ‘This decision targets community members who are desperately trying to bring to light acts of animal cruelty and torture that occur behind closed doors in farms, slaughterhouses and on feedlots.
‘The Australian public has seen the horrific acts of animal abuse that occur within the animal agribusiness industry. From “drop kicking” sheep heads to torturing chickens, we know that our animal protection laws are failing.’
Ms Hurst says these are nothing more than agricultural gagging laws designed to stop consumer knowledge about the hidden treatment of animals.
Coming into effect next month, the new penalties target animal rights activists who will reportedly face fines of up to $220,000 per person for trespassing onto agricultural properties. The Animal Justice Party says such a penalty is ‘outlandish’ given NSW legislation only allows individuals charged with animal cruelty to be fined up to $5,500.
‘If the Government really wanted to reduce trespass there is a very simple solution: transparency,’ said Ms Hurst.
‘If animal agribusiness genuinely believes there is no ethical issue with cramming tens of thousands of chickens in windowless sheds, forcing them to grow at an unnaturally high speed and allowing them to develop breast blisters from lying in the build-up of faeces and urine, then install CCTV inside these sheds and live stream it over the internet.
Ms Hurst said that if the industry had transparency, there would be no one trespassing to expose what is happening behind closed doors. ‘The community is becoming more aware of animal abuse and has seen how badly our animal protection laws are failing,’ she said. ‘Mr Marshall should be working to improve the failing enforcement system and develop better animal protection laws, not targeting distressed community members who care for animals.
‘We are calling on the Berejiklian Government to rethink this decision and instead turn their attention to animal protection and transparency in animal agribusiness industries,’ said Ms Hurst.