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Byron Shire
May 14, 2021

PETA sends Gladys a COVIDSafe gift

Latest News

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PETA sent a mask like this to the NSW Premier.

Animal rights organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), have delivered a small COVIDSafe gift to the NSW Premier.

As New South Wales battles its latest surge in COVID-19 cases and Premier Gladys Berejiklian has mandated mask-wearing, PETA has sent her a printed mask, which reads, ‘Animal Markets Breed Disease.’ It serves as a reminder that humankind’s abhorrent treatment of its fellow animals is the cause of this zoonotic disease – and numerous others.

In an accompanying letter, PETA points out that while COVID-19 is believed to have originated in a wildlife market, zoonotic diseases are not limited to wild animals.

As far back as 2016, the UN Environment Programme warned that the ‘livestock revolution’ increases the likelihood of disease transmission, and experts are deeply concerned about future swine and bird flu outbreaks.

PETA says that in 2009, the Department of Health recorded 191 deaths out of 37,537 confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza (swine flu), and this July and August, six Victorian farms reported three different strains of avian influenza, proving that Australia is at risk of such outbreaks.

They also say that in a paper published in 2018, Belgian spatial epidemiologist Marius Gilbert found that more historical ‘conversion events’ for bird flu – in which a not-very-pathogenic strain of the virus becomes more dangerous – had occurred in Australia than in China.

Horrific toll on animals

PETA spokesperson Aleesha Naxakis said of course, human consumption of animal flesh also increases the risk of developing illnesses such as heart disease… and contributes considerably to anthropogenic climate change. ‘In addition, there’s the horrific toll on animals. Annually, some half a million living, feeling beings are callously slaughtered in Australia to meet the demand for their flesh.

‘Each was an individual, just like the cats and dogs with whom we share our homes.

‘Sadly, unlike our companion animals, those bred for meat endure miserable lives in captivity before being killed.’

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” – opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview.

PETA’s letter is available here.


Recent stories, information and updates regarding COVID-19

Greater Sydney under COVID related restrictions

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has just announced that greater Sydney area will go into lockdown until next Monday.

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Brisbane Airport green zone breach update

A story The Echo posted this morning about the breach at Brisbane International Airport has been updated as the Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young, has declared the international terminal a venue of concern.

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Anzac Day commemorated across Australia

Anzac Day was a bit different this year because of COVID, but commemorations went ahead across the country.

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Ballina Council debates waiving Seagulls debt

The matter of over $15,000 owing to Ballina Shire Council by the Ballina Seagulls Rugby League for unpaid rates was discussed at council's last meeting.

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Vehicle sanitisation stations roll out

Enhanced safety measures for point to point transport such as taxis, hire and rideshare vehicles are being rolled out in Byron Bay, Ballina and Lismore with the opening of three free temporary vehicle sanitisation stations.

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Dili facing double disaster

The capital of East Timor, Dili, is reeling after flood waters swept through the city on the weekend, leaving at least 27 dead. The President of East Timor, Francisco Guterres Lú-Olo, described the floods as a 'great calamity'.

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Northern Rivers COVID restrictions lifting at midnight

NSW Health has confirmed that COVID-related restrictions for the Northern Rivers will be lifted at midnight tonight (Monday 5 April).

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COVID testing encouraged in the NNSWLHD

On Easter Sunday afternoon the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) has thanked the community for coming forward in large numbers for COVID-19 testing, with more than 10,000 tests conducted in the region in the past week.

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Face masks for Ballina and Byron businesses

As masks become harder to find across the Northern Rivers following the latest COVID-19 health alert, NSW Health has provided masks for business operators in Ballina and Byron Shires.

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UPDATE: Thousands of COVID tests conducted across northern rivers

The Byron Shire community and visitors have come forward in large numbers for testing following the alert of two COVID positive visitors coming to Byron Bay last weekend.

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