MEDIA RELEASE: 13 OCTOBER 2021
BREAKING: NSW PARLIAMENT CONDEMNS DOG KILLING AT BOURKE SHIRE POUND
Upper House calls for new laws to stop convenience killing
Animal Justice Party MP Emma Hurst has successfully moved a motion in NSW Parliament today condemning the shooting of 15 dogs and puppies at Bourke Shire Council Pound that occurred in August this year, with Council citing COVID concerns as their reason for the death of the dogs. In response to the travesty, the motion also called on the Minister for Local Government to prohibit the killing of animals in pounds and shelters where a rescue group is willing to take on their care.
The motion was agreed to without objection.
Emma Hurst MP from the Animal Justice Party says, “Now that we have the support of the NSW Government, our focus will be in ensuring these laws are passed. The shooting of these dogs should never have happened - now we need to make sure it never happens again.
“The killing of 15 dogs and puppies at Bourke Shire Council was barbaric and it is no wonder it received worldwide condemnation. Convenience killing in pounds and shelters must be outlawed.
“This atrocity could have been avoided – our weak laws failed these dogs. Laws that mandate pounds to work with rescue groups and prohibit the killing of animals where a rescue group is willing to take on their care are essential. Killing animals is never the solution.
“It seemed that no genuine attempt was made by Bourke Shire Pound to get the dogs into foster care or to rescue groups. We heard that there were at least two groups who were willing to take in the animals. Such action would have been in line with the COVID-19 public health orders.
“Recently we met with the Office of Local Government, enforcement agencies, rescue groups and councils across New South Wales to discuss urgent changes that need to be made to our broken pound system. Currently councils only have a duty to consider “alternative action” before euthanasia and are not compelled to rehome animals to rescues. This needs to change.
“Animals are not disposable. We need to learn from this atrocity at Bourke Shire Pound and adjust our laws accordingly. We will continue to pursue this issue in Parliament to ensure rescue groups can save animals on death row. What happened at Bourke Shire Council cannot be allowed to happen again,” said Ms Hurst.
FULL MOTION BELOW:
(1) That this House notes that:
(a) on 22 August 2021, it was reported that Bourke Shire Council had shot and killed 15 dogs in their care, including a mother and her newborn puppies,
(b) these animal were killed despite the fact that at least two rescue groups were willing to take them and find them loving homes, and were able to do so under the COVID-19 Public Health Orders, and
(c) Bourke Shire Council’s actions have received worldwide condemnation, and appear to be in breach of the Companion Animals Act 1988.
(2) That this House:
(a) condemns the cruel actions of Bourke Shire Council, and
(b) calls on the Minister for Local Government to prohibit the killing of animals in pounds and shelters where a rescue group is willing to take on their care.
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