MEDIA STATEMENT: 26 MARCH 2021
Yesterday morning two men in NSW were arrested and will be facing charges of bestiality, animal cruelty, and distributing child abuse material. Animal Justice Party MP Emma Hurst is calling on the NSW Government to recognise the link between bestiality and child abuse and introduce tougher laws to protect children and animals.
Please see quotes below from Animal Justice Party MP, Emma Hurst:
“Research has shown that people who enjoy animal cruelty are likely involved in other criminal activity including child abuse and child pornography. It doesn’t surprise me that men being charged for distributing child abuse materials were also involved in bestiality.
“Our laws in NSW are too weak in this space and need urgent review. Anyone who aggressively harms or sexually abuses an animal is a danger to the community, children, and other animals.
“Under our current laws animal abusers convicted of bestiality can still care or work with animals, and the distribution of bestiality material isn’t even illegal.
"Despite more than 139 recorded incidents of bestiality in NSW since 2000, there have been no animal bans as a result of a conviction. This simply isn’t good enough. We should be protecting animals from known perpetrators by ensuring anyone found guilty of the most heinous acts of abuse have no future access to animals.
“It sickens me to know that under our current laws these men could still legally be able to care for and work with animals, and go on to repeat these heinous acts.
“By outlawing the possession of bestiality material, and banning perpetrators from having further animals in their care, we can protect animals and give the police the powers necessary to investigate and charge the sick individuals who find the suffering of others sexually gratifying.
"Recently, the NSW Upper House supported an Animal Justice Party provision that would ensure any person convicted of bestiality, or the most serious animal cruelty offences, would receive a mandatory, lifelong ban on caring for an animal. Shockingly, it was not supported by Government.
“It is cases like this that reveal how urgently these laws are needed so that we can ensure animals are protected in this state. I hope the Government has a change of heart and agrees to protect animals from bestiality offenders.
"Shockingly the men arrested today may not be charged for distributing bestiality footage, because there is no specific offence in NSW that makes it illegal to possess or distribute this disgusting material. This is a dangerous gap in our laws that I am calling on the Government to urgently fix.
"These arrests make clear the link between animal abuse and child abuse. Violence does not discriminate, and those who abuse animals are a danger to others. The NSW Government must support our amendments ensuring mandatory animal bans for bestiality convictions, and update our laws to make the possession and distribution of bestiality footage a crime.
MEDIA CONTACT: ROSIE RAYNS, 0401 991 792