City of Sydney moves to ban fur in Australian first: Animal Justice Party MP says Council is leading the way for change

MEDIA RELEASE: 11th MARCH 2020

CITY OF SYDNEY MOVES TO BAN FUR IN AUSTRALIAN FIRST

ANIMAL JUSTICE PARTY MP SAYS COUNCIL IS LEADING THE WAY FOR CHANGE

 

Animal Justice Party MP Emma Hurst - who has been working closely with the Lord Mayor on the issue of fur and the banning of fur sales - has congratulated the Council on monday night’s Mayoral Minute revealing intentions of the Council to move to become ‘fur free’. 

“This fantastic first step by Clover Moore and the City of Sydney to ban fur sales will cement them as the most progressive council here in Australia. I am excited to see the City of Sydney listening to local resident’s concerns about animal cruelty,” said Ms Hurst.

“It is time- the heinous animal abuse within the fur trade is well known and fur is not considered fashion. Fur is simply dead,” said Ms Hurst.

Fur bans overseas in the UK and US saw some concerns raised around recycled fashion and vintage fur coats becoming landfill if not allowed to be sold at markets and stalls. 

“An innovative aspect of the work the Animal Justice Party is doing with the City of Sydney is to encourage people to donate any vintage coats to Snuggle Coats – an organisation turning old fur into pouches for orphaned wildlife,” continued Ms Hurst.

“After the bushfires and with so many orphaned and injured animals we can’t think of anything more positive than to give these coats back to the animals.

“Over 50 million animals suffer and die as victims of the fur trade. The people of Sydney would be horrified if they saw what goes on behind the scenes in this barbaric industry. Animals in the fur trade are killed by anal electrocution, gassing, breaking their necks, or skinning them alive – these are all inhumane and often ineffective methods designed to avoid damage to their fur.

“I’m confident that other Councils will be following City of Sydney’s lead, and just as Councils all around Australia progressively banned circuses on Council land, I think the action of Councils in 2020 will be to ban fur.

“We have seen Councils in the UK make similar bans but this is the first Council making steps towards the same change here in Australia. It is great to see the City of Sydney being leaders on ethical animal policies,” said Ms Hurst.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: ROSINA RAYNS, 0401 991 792

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MP joins domestic violence rally demanding urgent action for human and animal victims of abuse

MEDIA RELEASE: 4th MARCH 2020

MP JOINS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RALLY DEMANDING URGENT ACTION FOR HUMAN AND ANIMAL VICTIMS OF ABUSE

Domestic violence protest Rally4Hannah will be held in Civic Park, Newcastle on Wednesday March 4 from 6pm.

 

Animal Justice Party Upper House MP Emma Hurst will be speaking of both human and animal victims of domestic violence this Wednesday, following the death of yet another Australian woman and her children at the hands of an abusive partner.

“Nine women have died at the hands of their abuser this year. That is nine too many,” said Ms Hurst.

“There’s a plethora of research confirming a link between domestic violence and animal abuse. Many people who have been violent to animals are later violent towards a human, so we need to take issues of animal abuse much more seriously in this state if we hope to ever overcome domestic violence. 

“Research shows that up to 70 percent of domestic and family victims report abuse of their companion animal, and many victims delay seeking refuge to provide safety to an animal.

“Perpetrators often use animals as tools to hurt and traumatise human victims of domestic violence. I have personally heard stories of abusers drowning family dogs in the pool and choking rabbits to death with kitchen utensils,” said Ms Hurst.

Ms Hurst recently held a roundtable into the link between animal abuse and domestic violence in NSW Parliament. Together with domestic violence survivors, advocacy workers, policy experts, NSW police and the RSPCA, Ms Hurst is developing a suite of legislative changes needed to better support human victims and their companion animals.

“It has been made clear to me that human and animal victims remain at extreme risk under our current laws,” continued Ms Hurst.

“Even if victims of domestic violence can leave with their animals they are not safe. Shelters and refuges often do not house companion animals, and it is difficult to secure rental accommodation when fleeing with an animal.

“We need legislative changes to allow victims to take custody of their companion animals, include animals on ADVOs, and ensure all rental accommodation becomes companion animal friendly.

“I will be also fighting for changes to our legislation that include ensuring animal abuse is explicitly listed as a domestic violence offence, and abusers are unable to pass a working with children or disability services check.

“It is time Australia recognised that animals are domestic violence victims in their own right. Only when we address all facets of abuse will we make real steps toward ending Australia’s domestic violence epidemic,” said Ms Hurst.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: ROSINA RAYNS, 0401 991 792

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Statement from Animal Justice Party MLC Emma Hurst in relation to the escape of baboons used in medical experimentation in Sydney

MEDIA STATEMENT: 25th FEBURARY 2020

STATEMENT FROM ANIMAL JUSTICE PARTY MLC EMMA HURST IN RELATION TO THE ESCAPE OF BABOONS USED IN MEDICAL EXPERIMENTATION IN SYDNEY

 

Medical research often involves painful and pointless procedures forced on animals against their will. These baboons must be feeling so frightened and so alone – seeing the faces of these victims has left the public shocked and distressed. Hundreds of primates are still being held captive in similar medical experimentation facilities in and around Sydney.

Medical experimentation is the most hidden of all animal-use industries. There is a total lack of transparency in an effort to avoid public scrutiny. These are the hidden faces behind animal experimentation in this country. I hope the world sees them.

Australians hate animal cruelty and will be shocked today to hear about the huge number of animals still forced into cruel animal experimentation. Primates are intelligent and aware animals – they deserve so much better than what humans have done to them.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: ROSINA RAYNS, 0401 991 792

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Media Release: Animal Justice Party condemns ‘green xenophobia’ gone mad in government’s plan for largest mass slaughter of animals following bushfires

MEDIA RELEASE: 21ST JANUARY 2020

ANIMAL JUSTICE PARTY CONDEMNS ‘GREEN XENOPHOBIA’ GONE MAD IN GOVERNMENT’S PLAN FOR LARGEST MASS SLAUGHTER OF ANIMALS FOLLOWING BUSHFIRES 

 

Animal Justice MPs Emma Hurst and Mark Pearson say they are horrified at the recent plan announced by NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean to conduct the state’s largest ever mass slaughter of non-native animals. It is understood the Minister’s announcement followed pressure from Greens MP Cate Faehrmann. 

 

“This ecological cleansing madness needs to stop. We have already lost over 1.25 billion animals in the bushfires – why are the NSW Government and the Greens intent on raising that number even further?” said Ms Hurst.

“Statements from Ms Faehermann that she is “thrilled” about this planned mass-killing of animals shows how out of touch the Greens are - both with the latest science regarding introduced animals, and with the feelings of everyday Australians who have already seen enough pain, suffering and bloodshed this bushfire season.

“If the Greens and the Environment Minister were serious about taking action to protect native animals and threatened species, they would be supporting our call for a moratorium on activities that are really threatening native animals such as logging, deforestation, and the slaughter of our native wildlife such as kangaroos for profit - all which are still continuing, despite the enormous loss of over a billion animals in the bushfire season.

 

MLC Mark Pearson wrote to the Minister over a week ago calling for food drops to save bush fire survivors. “This Rambo operation will be costing thousands- that money could be used to drop food for threatened species to ensure they actually survive”, Mr Pearson stated. 

“Further, mass killing of non-natives could cause greater loss of life for threatened species. Poisons like 1080 are often accidentally ingested by companion animals and threatened native species, and cause a slow, agonizing death for any animal unfortunate enough to ingest it,” Mr Pearson added.

 

As Australians remain distraught by the unprecedented number of wild animals that have perished in the past months, Ms Hurst is urging the Minister to look toward kinder, more humane solutions to aim to reduce the loss of life this bushfire season – not increase it.

“We have been contacted by an increasing number of community members who are furious by the decision of the NSW Government to go on a killing spree,” said Ms Hurst.

“Now, more than ever, we need to be looking at the latest ecological research to find new, sustainable ways to manage the relationship between humans, native animals and non-native animals in the wild. Ecologists are increasingly recognising that eliminating non-native species - particularly those that have been around for several years - can be counter-productive. 

“Demonising and seeking to eradicate non-native species ignores some of the benefits that these animals can bring to an ecosystem or, conversely, some of the unintended harm that might occur if they are suddenly removed – particularly in this fragile, bushfire-ravaged environment.

“Making rash decisions to kill animals, fuelled by green xenophobia, is not the answer,” said Ms Hurst.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: ROSINA RAYNS, 0401 991 792

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Media Release: MP joins Sea World protest calling on the park to stop the dolphin ‘circus’

MEDIA RELEASE: 19TH DECEMBER 2019

MP JOINS SEA WORLD PROTEST CALLING ON THE PARK TO STOP THE DOLPHIN ‘CIRCUS’

 

Sea World is reported to have nearly 30 dolphins in captivity – many born and bred in the park – who perform tricks on a daily basis. Despite evidence showing that dolphins suffer in captivity, Sea World continues to profit off these captive animals, a source of outrage for animal advocates across Queensland and Australia.

“I am disgusted that Sea World continues to breed these highly intelligent animals so that they can profit from circus-style shows,” said Ms Hurst.

“Dolphins in captivity can live for up to 50 years. That means that the dolphins any of us saw here as children could still be in the same pools, doing the same meaningless and demeaning tricks.

“Dolphins are wild animals, not objects to be used for our entertainment. Imprisoning them in artificial pools risks teaching children dominance and disrespect for animals.

“Dolphinariums are quickly gaining the worldwide reputation of being akin to “ABUSEment parks” as the public question whether sentient animals should be forced to perform,” said Ms Hurst.

A recent global shift toward banning the use of captive dolphins for human entertainment has left Australia lagging behind, despite an Australian Senate report recommending that dolphin captivity be phased out over 30 years ago.

“Chile, Costa Rica and Croatia have all banned imprisoning cetaceans in captivity for entertainment. The Canadian Parliament recently passed a bill to prohibit the breeding or holding of dolphins and whales in captivity. Australia is falling behind,” continued Ms Hurst.

“India banned keeping dolphins in captivity for entertainment back in 2013. Brazil, Luxembourg and Norway all have highly restrictive standards making it near impossible to keep cetaceans in captivity. The UK’s last dolphinarium closed over 20 years ago.

“There is clearly growing global recognition that keeping dolphins in captivity is not acceptable. The real question here is: what is Australia waiting for?” said Ms Hurst.

 

What: Over 50 local activists will be protesting outside Sea World with Animal Justice Party MLC Emma Hurst demanding an end to captive breeding and the use of dolphins in circus-style shows

When: Sunday, December 22nd, 10am 

Where: Sea World Drive Main Beach Gold Coast 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: ROSINA RAYNS, 0401 991 792

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Media Release: NSW Government decision to remove protections at Batemans Marine Park “short-sighted and inhumane”

MEDIA RELEASE: 12th DECEMBER 2019

NSW GOVERNMENT DECISION TO REMOVE PROTECTIONS AT BATEMANS MARINE PARK “SHORT-SIGHTED AND INHUMANE”

 

The Hon. Emma Hurst MP has slammed today’s decision by the NSW Government to roll back marine protections at Batemans Marine Park, saying it is “short sighted and inhumane”.

 

“This shockingly short-sighted decision by the NSW Government removes marine protections only one day after a comprehensive report by the Australian Marine Conservation Society and Humane Society International has shown Critically Endangered Grey Nurse Sharks in these very waters are facing extinction,” said Ms Hurst.

“Our marine life is facing threats from all sides. Our oceans are polluted, climate change is destroying what is left of our marine environments, and now we are reducing what minimal protections they have.

“Our Government should not be encouraging cruel fishing practices such as line and spear fishing in an already delicate marine environment that thousands of sentient animals call home.

“There is clear scientific evidence that fish are intelligent and have the ability to feel pain. Knowingly causing harm to an intelligent, sentient animal is unethical and inhumane.

“Encouraging more people to get involved in animal cruelty and support a brutal industry that has devastated our State’s precious marine environments is unconscionable,” said Ms Hurst.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: ROSINA RAYNS, 0401 991 792

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Media Release: NSW Parliament supports Queen Elizabeth by declaring “fur is firmly out of fashion” despite opposition from NSW Liberal and National Parties

MEDIA RELEASE: 14th NOVEMBER, 2019

NSW PARLIAMENT SUPPORTS QUEEN ELIZABETH BY DECLARING “FUR IS FIRMLY OUT OF FASHION” DESPITE OPPOSITION FROM NSW LIBERAL AND NATIONAL PARTIES

 

Today the New South Wales Legislative Council supported a Notice of Motion congratulating Queen Elizabeth II for removing cruel animal fur from her wardrobe and declaring that “fur is firmly out of fashion”.

The motion, tabled by the Animal Justice Party, received support from Labor, Christian Democrats, Independent Justin Field and The Greens, however MP Emma Hurst said it was disappointing that the New South Wales Liberal and National Parties, along with One Nation chose not to endorse the decision made by Australia’s head of state.

 

“Today the NSW Liberal and National Parties and One Nation rejected the opportunity to support the Queen’s ethical decision to condemn the cruel fur trade, and in doing so, continue their own support of an industry with a long history of animal cruelty,” said Ms Hurst.

“The Government’s unwavering support for extreme animal abuse is incredibly disconcerting, and shows they are completely out of touch with community sentiment and now the beliefs of our Head of State,” said Ms Hurst.

 

One Nation’s Mark Latham’s response to the motion of “who cares”, shocked the House and prompted Ms Hurst to remind the Members that compassion does not need to have limitations.

 

“Who cares about the millions of animals being held in cages and slaughtered, or who face a slow death trapped in limb crushing steel traps? It is unconscionable to say, ‘who cares’,” said Ms Hurst.

“Over 50 million animals suffer and die as victims of the international fur trade. This includes kangaroos, murdered right here in New South Wales and exported to regions including Europe, Asia and the United States.

“Our laws not only condone the murder of innocent, sentient animals for this barbaric trade, but we continue to support this cruel industry by allowing animal fur including that from bears, seals, possums, rabbits and racoons to be imported and sold within our state.

“Animals in the fur trade are killed by anal electrocution, gassing, breaking their necks, or skinning them alive – these are all inhumane and often ineffective methods designed to avoid damage to their fur.

“Allowing our state to support this barbaric, disgraceful industry is horrific. Despite the Liberal and National Party’s opposition, it is encouraging that the majority of the Upper House recognises this and is willing to take action.

“Everyone, from the Queen to the community here in New South Wales, knows that we don't need to abuse and kill animals in order to look luxurious. It is time the New South Wales Liberal and National Parties, along with One Nation recognise this too,” said Ms Hurst.

 

MEDIA RELEASE: ROSINA RAYNS, 0401 991 792

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Media Release: Passing of "Right to Farm" Bill signals more dirty deals between Government and Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party

MEDIA RELEASE: 13th November, 2019

PASSING OF “RIGHT TO FARM” BILL SIGNALS MORE DIRTY DEALS BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND SHOOTERS, FISHERS AND FARMERS PARTY

 

Animal Justice Party MP Emma Hurst has slammed the Right to Farm Bill, which passed through the Upper House late last night. 

The Bill passed 19 to 18, following support from the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party. Ms Hurst says this signals another backroom deal between the Government and minor party, an alliance that previously nearly led to national parks being opened up to hunters.

 

“This bill does not enshrine any “right to farm”, nor will it do anything to protect people living in regional and rural New South Wales most affected by the harsh, ongoing drought and bushfires. It is simply oppressive ag-gag legislation,” said Ms Hurst.

“This draconian bill is part of a sustained witch-hunt by the Government against animal advocates in NSW, and a clear attempt to silence whistle-blowers and reduce transparency.  

“Illegal hunting – identified by NSW Police as the number one cause of farm trespass – has barely received a mention from the Minister throughout the entire debate on this Bill. 

“The Government’s refusal to acknowledge the problem of  illegal hunting is not surprising, given this bill passed only because of the support of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, and with the Government in turn supporting amendments by the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers to their own Bill. 

“It is scary to think about what dirty deals went on to get this horrific piece of ag-gag legislation over the line, particularly given the last time the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers did a deal with the Government, it was to try to open up national parks to shooting.

“This Bill is about reducing transparency in the animal agribusiness industry. It will reduce transparency in the intensive piggeries, where pigs are still confined in sow stalls and farrowing crates, and in slaughterhouses, where animals are hung and have their throats slit, and in the broiler meat industry, where you see chickens grow so big so fast their bodies collapse under their own weight.

“The Australian public have a right to know what life looks for the millions of animals that are intensively farmed for food in our country each year.

“The more the New South Wales Government seeks to shield animal agribusiness from scrutiny, the more suspicious the community is becoming about what they are trying to hide.

“I will not, and the Animal Justice Party will not give up on fighting for animals in the animal agribusiness industry and the public’s right to know what goes on behind closed doors. 

“The New South Wales community has a no tolerance stance to animal cruelty and will not support our Government’s efforts to hide it,” said Ms Hurst.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: ROSINA RAYNS, 0401 991 792

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Media Release: “Cruel” Melbourne Cup demonstrates need for investigation into NSW Horse Racing Industry says NSW MP

MEDIA RELEASE: 5th November, 2019

“CRUEL” MELBOURNE CUP DEMONSTRATES NEED FOR INVESTIGATION INTO NSW HORSE RACING INDUSTRY SAYS NSW MP

 

Ahead of today’s Melbourne Cup, NSW Animal Justice Party MP Emma Hurst is demanding the NSW Government launch an investigation on the horse racing industry.

Ms Hurst’s Notice of Motion condemning the cruel practice of sending racehorses to slaughter and supporting a Government investigation into ex-racehorses in NSW passed with cross-party support late last month, though the Berejiklian Government is yet to take action.

“With the spring racing season now well and truly underway, there is no better time for the NSW Government to launch an investigation,” said Ms Hurst.

“Our government must act on community concerns in regards to the protection of the animals used in this so-called ‘entertainment’ industry.

“Cross-party support for an investigation shows that the horrific cruelty inflicted upon these animals is being recognised. 7.30 exposed the racing industry for what it is: a brutal business built on the suffering of thousands of animals.

“The horse racing industry, who thrive on gambling money, are clearly unable to regulate themselves, and must be held to account.

“It has become clear to many Australians that today’s Melbourne Cup is nothing but a blood-sport built on the suffering of thousands of gentle animals who are quite literally running for their lives. 

“Here in NSW, the community is questioning just how many of these horses come from stables in our state, and how many will face a brutal end at abattoirs and knackeries across Australia.

“As the Melbourne Cup is run today, millions will look on disgusted as innocent, intelligent and sentient animals are whipped and forced to race until many experience horrific internal bleeding and risk a painful sudden death.

“The ongoing revelations of the traumatic injuries, drug abuse, horrific breakdowns, and brutal slaughter faced by these horses should be what stops the nation. To see a rich and callous minority continue in their attempts to glamorise this horrific animal abuse is incredibly disturbing.

“Community outrage over the web of deception surrounding NSW racing is not going away. They have finally seen the truth of this brutal industry, and they are demanding action,” said Ms Hurst.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: ROSINA RAYNS, 0401 991 792

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Media Release: NSW Egg Industry’s dirty plan supported by Labor in Upper House Inquiry

MEDIA RELEASE: 30th October 2019

NSW EGG INDUSTRY’S DIRTY PLAN SUPPORTED BY LABOR IN UPPER HOUSE INQUIRY

 

Chair of the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into the “Use of Battery Cages for Hens in the Egg Production Industry” the Hon. Emma Hurst MLC, has hit out at the Opposition following today’s release of the inquiry report, calling their support for the cage egg industry and plans for misleading labelling “repulsive”. 

Amendments to the report as pushed by industry lobby groups, saw the time frame for a phase out removed and limited to ‘conventional cages’ in favour of so-called ‘furnished cages’. 

“While furnished cages are used overseas, the NSW Egg Industry revealed during the inquiry that their proposed definition of a furnished caged is eerily similar to the battery cage,” said Ms Hurst.

“Industry’s proposed definition for a furnished cage allows only 550cm2 per hen, by contrast overseas furnished cages are at least 750cm2,” said Ms Hurst.

 

NSW Labor amendments recommended an industry-heavy ‘working group’ to decide on the definition, meaning that the NSW version of a furnished caged could see hens with exactly the same space restrictions as they currently have in a battery cage.  

“I am appalled that Labor is supporting the industry's desire to lie to consumers and use fancy words to confuse and hide the truth,” continued Ms Hurst.

“I am deeply concerned that industry will tell consumers that battery/conventional cages are being phased out. In reality these new so-called ‘furnished cages’ will be no better- or possibly worse- than the conditions hens are in now.

“I am revolted at the failure of the Government and the Opposition to support a recommendation for an enforceable, time-based phase out of all cages at either a state or national level. 

“This inquiry received over 14,000 submissions, the overwhelming majority of which called for a phase out of the cage system. The Government and Opposition are neglecting the staggering volume of evidence we heard from welfare groups, experts, and the wider community who feel the industry is long overdue for serious reform.

“It is sickening that the Government and NSW Labor have chosen to continue to condemn millions of hens to these inhumane conditions. 

“Despite this unethical and barbaric decision, I will not, and the Animal Justice Party will not give up. Together with the people of NSW, we will continue to demand that the cruel caged hen industry is brought to an end” said Ms Hurst.

 

PRESS CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD TODAY AT 1.15PM IN NSW PARLIAMENT HOUSE COURTYARD (LEVEL 9)

MEDIA CONTACT: ROSINA RAYNS, 0401 991 792

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