Desmond Bellamy, PETA Australia
Animal abusers on factory farms were delighted with federal and state governments’ knee jerk reactions to exposés by animal activists, announcing legislation which made penalties for entry onto a farm far more draconian than other forms of trespass.
A criminal stalking your home could easily receive a lighter sentence than a person trying to detail animal abuses, such as chickens suffering in filthy, windowless sheds with 40,000 other birds, or animals being branded, dehorned or castrated without pain relief.
But now the abusers are screaming, as the legislation is revealed. In a turn-up for the books, the most recent legislation in Western Australia is giving vast new powers to animal welfare inspectors to enter premises without a warrant or prior consent.
No activist wants to spend a night looking at appalling abuse in filthy, crowded, stinking sheds – it’s distressing and dangerous work. They go there for one thing – to document and hopefully stop the suffering of millions of sensitive animals, whose lives and welfare are measured only in dollars. If government inspectors are prepared to do that instead, everyone should be happy. Except, apparently, those who have something to hide.