Media Release: Animal Justice Party MP Confronts Deputy Premier About Comments Toward Vegan Activists

MEDIA RELEASE: 13th SEPTEMBER 2019

ANIMAL JUSTICE PARTY MP CONFRONTS DEPUTY PREMIER ABOUT COMMENTS TOWARDS VEGAN ACTIVISTS


Today at the Budget Estimate Hearings in NSW Parliament, Animal Justice Party MP Emma Hurst blasted Deputy Premier John Barilaro on his labelling of animal advocates as “domestic terrorists."

Ms Hurst asked the Deputy Premier “Do you not think that that is offensive to people who are genuinely the victims of terrorist acts? We’ve had a terrorist act recently in New Zealand with extreme violence, with people who have had family members killed. When you water down that term to refer to somebody who wants to protect animals, do you not realise how offensive that is?”

A furious Mr Barilaro said he stood by his comments.

Please see below a statement from Emma Hurst MLC on the Deputy Premier’s remarks:

“The word terrorism is being bulldozed by the government to push a political agenda. It's being used against those who fight against the unjust and cruel treatment of animals.

“The Deputy Premier should be held to account for misusing this word. It's offensive to the victims of real acts of terrorism, and completely ignores growing community concern about the treatment of animals in the intensive animal agribusiness industry.”

 

MEDIA CONTACT: ROSINA RAYNS, 0401 991 792

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Media Release: Squalid Conditions at NSW Piggery Exposed

MEDIA RELEASE: 12th SEPTEMBER 2019

SQUALID CONDITIONS AT NSW PIGGERY EXPOSED: ANIMAL JUSTICE PARTY MP EMMA HURST CLAIMS FOOTAGE MAKES A MOCKERY OF NEW BIOSECURITY REGULATIONS

 

The distressing footage, released by Animal Liberation, shows rotting buckets of dead piglets and sows being left to decompose in their stalls, surrounded by rats eating the dead bodies. The footage also shows workers cruelly poking pigs with cattle prods and even riding a sow.

Ms Hurst says, “This abhorrent treatment of animals is exactly what the NSW Government’s draconian suite of new ag-gag laws* are trying to cover up,” said Ms Hurst.

“We have tabled a disallowance motion against the Government’s most recent attempt at an ag-gag law, which was introduced into Parliament under the guise of biosecurity regulations. But if this footage is anything to go by, biosecurity is not a priority for most intensive animal agriculture facilities, which are focused on profit and nothing else.

“If the Minister for Agriculture is so concerned about biosecurity, why doesn’t he make it compulsory for every agriculture facility to have a rigorous biosecurity management plan? Right now, it is optional for farmers.

“Instead, the NSW Government has chosen to introduce so-called biosecurity regulations which target whistleblowers with a maximum individual fine of $220,000 for entering a farm to expose brutal acts of animal cruelty, while maximum fines for committing animal cruelty remain at just $5,500.

“Make no mistake, these laws are really about intimidation. The Government is pushing a political agenda to instill fear and silence members of society who expose animal abuse. Today, once again, the community can see an example of exactly the type of footage the Government is trying to hide.

“We have seen countless videos from concerned whistleblowers horrified at the brutality and lax biosecurity practices they have witnessed behind closed doors of the animal agribusiness industry. This isn’t a one off.

“I look forward to moving my disallowance motion next week when Parliament sits and exposing these biosecurity regulations for what they really are – an attack on transparency and an attempt to keep the public in the dark about how their food is produced”

 

* In the past two months, the Government has introduced the Biosecurity Amendment (Biosecurity Management Plans) Regulation 2019, which allows for fines of up to $220,000 to be imposed on individuals who enter an agricultural property in breach of a “Biosecurity Management Plan”, and tabled the Right to Farm Bill 2019 which would allow up to three year’s jail time to be imposed on anyone who trespasses on farm property.

While the Biosecurity Amendment (Biosecurity Management Plans) Regulation 2019 took effect on 1 August 2019, the Animal Justice Party has introduced a disallowance motion in NSW Parliament which will seek to have the regulations thrown out.

VIDEO FOOTAGE: https://www.facebook.com/animalliberationqld/videos/991065631225377/

 

MEDIA CONTACT: ROSINA RAYNS, 0401 991 792

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Media Release: Sickening Cruelty at Slaughterhouse Exposed

MEDIA RELEASE: 29th AUGUST 2019

SICKENING CRUELTY AT NSW SLAUGHTERHOUSE EXPOSED:

ANIMAL JUSTICE PARTY MP EMMA HURST SAYS FOOTAGE SHOWS WHAT GOVERNMENT’S PROPOSED RIGHT TO FARM LAWS AND BIOSECURITY REGULATIONS ARE TRYING TO HIDE

 

The footage, filmed at a slaughterhouse in Picton NSW, shows brutal acts of cruelty, including beating in frightened pig’s skulls with mallets and leaving traumatised a calf to suffer a slow and painful death as it bleeds to death from a slit throat. Ms Hurst says these are just some of the many incidents of animal cruelty the new NSW ag-gag laws* are trying to hide by targeting whistleblowers with harsh penalties and fines.

“This extreme animal cruelty is exactly what the NSW Government’s draconian suite of new ag-gag laws are trying to cover up,” said Ms Hurst.

“Ongoing incidents of animal cruelty like this one are exactly why we have tabled a disallowance motion against the Government’s most recent attempt at an ag-gag law, which was introduced into Parliament under the guise of biosecurity regulations.

“Make no mistake, these laws are really about intimidation. The Government is pushing a political agenda to instill fear and silence members of society who expose animal abuse. Today the community can see an example of exactly the type of footage the Government is trying to hide.

“This horrific footage makes it clear that this is an industry that needs transparency. Not more red tape and harsh penalties targeting whistleblowers who are trying to bring this cruelty to light.

“It is unconscionable that the NSW Government target whistleblowers with a $220,000 fine for exposing brutal acts of cruelty, but fines for those commiting acts of animal cruelty could have a maximum of just $5,500.

“We have seen countless videos from concerned whistleblowers horrified at the brutality they have witnessed behind closed doors of the animal agribusiness industry. This isn’t a one off.

“It is the perpetrators of cruelty who must be punished. Not the whistleblowers. These are sentient animals who feel pain, fear and suffering.

“The Department of Agriculture is meant to be responsible for improving animal protection, yet these new laws seek to protect those who are deliberately torturing them.

"Enough is enough. How many more animals need to be traumatised and tortured for our government to see that we need stronger animal protection laws and tougher penalties for those who inflict this cruelty?

“It is time the NSW Government got serious about protecting animals and ensuring that the perpetrators of these horrific crimes are brought to justice,” said Ms Hurst.

 

* In the past month, the Government has introduced the Biosecurity Amendment (Biosecurity Management Plans) Regulation 2019, which allows for fines of up to $220,000 to be imposed on individuals who enter an agricultural property in breach of a “Biosecurity Management Plan”, and tabled the Right to Farm Bill 2019 which would allow up to three year’s jail time to be imposed on anyone who trespasses on farm property.

While the Biosecurity Amendment (Biosecurity Management Plans) Regulation 2019 took effect on 1 August 2019, the Animal Justice Party has introduced a disallowance motion in NSW Parliament which will seek to have the regulations thrown out.

 

VIDEO FOOTAGE: https://bit.ly/2U9Po3o

MEDIA CONTACT: ROSINA RAYNS, 0401 991 792

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Media Release: Government Not Serious About Stopping Farm Trespass

MEDIA RELEASE: 21st AUGUST 2019

GOVERNMENT NOT SERIOUS ABOUT STOPPING FARM TRESPASS:
 
ANIMAL JUSTICE PARTY MP EMMA HURST SLAMS LATEST “DRACONIAN” RIGHT TO FARM BILL ANNOUNCED BY GOVERNMENT

 

Animal Justice Party MP Emma Hurst has warned that the Government’s latest move to introduce new trespass offences that threaten to imprison animal cruelty whistleblowers won’t work, and will simply increase tensions between advocates and farmers.

The Right to Farm Bill was introduced to NSW Parliament’s lower house yesterday, and reportedly includes the toughest penalties for farm trespass in the country - including up to three years' jail time and $22,000 in fines. 

“If the Government really wanted to reduce trespass there is a very simple solution: transparency,” said Ms Hurst.

“If animal agribusiness genuinely believes there is no ethical issue with modern factory farming practices - including cramming tens of thousands of meat chickens into windowless sheds, where they are bred to grow so fast that they can barely stand or walk, and forcing them to live in their own faeces and urine - then install CCTV cameras inside these sheds and live stream it over the internet. What have they got to hide?

“If the industry had transparency, there would be no one trespassing to expose what is happening behind closed doors. It would take away any motivation to trespass.  

“The lack of interest in legislating transparency is evidence that the Government isn’t really serious about stopping trespass. 

“The Australian public have a right to know what life looks for the millions of animals that are intensively farmed for food in Australia each year. But right now, that information is being hidden. 

“This bill is yet another attempt to appease lobbyists from the animal agribusiness industry and frighten whistleblowers into silence – but it will not work. Animal advocates will continue to expose animal cruelty and, if they happen to fall foul of this new law, tax payers will be forced to pay the exorbitant cost. 

“Punishing those who expose animal cruelty is not the answer. The community has a no tolerance stance to animal cruelty and will not support the NSW Government’s efforts to hide it. If this bill makes it to the upper house, I will be strongly opposing it,” said Ms Hurst.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: ROSINA RAYNS, 0401 991 792

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Media Release: Women’s right to choose co-sponsor Emma Hurst MP: “Animal Justice Party will play key role in passing this historic bill”

MEDIA RELEASE: 29th JULY, 2019

WOMEN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE CO-SPONSOR EMMA HURST MP: “ANIMAL JUSTICE PARTY WILL PLAY KEY ROLE IN PASSING THIS HISTORIC BILL”

 

Animal Justice Party MP Emma Hurst, one of a record number of cosponsors of Alex Greenwich’s Reproductive Health Reform Bill 2019, has today welcomed the move to finally decriminalise abortion in NSW. 

With the Bill expected to pass this week in the Lower House, the Animal Justice Party will likely play a key role when the Bill is introduced in the Upper House, where numbers will be much tighter.

“Most of us have either been in the situation ourselves, or have supported a friend who has had to make this difficult decision.

“One in four women in Australia have undergone an abortion. It is not a choice women make lightly.

“However under present NSW laws, unless a woman and her doctor can prove that her physical or mental health is in serious danger if the pregnancy continued, it is a criminal offence to terminate a pregnancy and punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. This is archaic.

“Many doctors are hesitant to offer pregnancy termination services due to uncertainty about the law and the fear of prosecution.

Our current system restricts women’s access to this necessary healthcare procedure. It also adds enormous stress and pressure in an already difficult situation. Women need to be afforded the right to full control over their own bodies. The ongoing threat of possible jail time does not allow that.

“This is a bill that promotes women’s safety and self-autonomy in New South Wales. It will bring us out of the dark ages where we continue to rely on a 119 year old draconian law.

“We are the only state in Australia to still consider abortion a crime. It is time New South Wales acknowledged that termination of pregnancy is not a crime, and women can and must be able to make their own choices.

The criminalisation of abortion remains a serious barrier to access to reproductive choice in NSW, and one that disproportionately affects women living in remote and rural areas and in lower-socioeconomic communities.

“All women, regardless of their income, location, race, culture, or education should have safe access to reproductive healthcare services, including abortions. This bill is a big step in the right direction to achieving this goal,” said Ms Hurst.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: ROSINA RAYNS, 0401 991 792

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Media Release: Stop Condoning Animal Cruelty

MEDIA RELEASE: 11th JULY, 2019

"STOP CONDONING ANIMAL CRUELTY": ANIMAL JUSTICE PARTY NSW CONDEMNS MORRISON GOVERNMENT'S AGRICULTURAL PROTECTION BILL

 

The Animal Justice Party NSW expressed its disapproval of the Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill 2019 today, stating that it was a bandaid response to underlying community concerns regarding animal abuse and cruelty.

"This bill will not address community's genuine concerns about the treatment of animals who are hidden away from public view in farms, slaughterhouses and on feedlots," said Animal Justice Party MP Mark Pearson.

"The only successful way to address farm trespass is to make it redundant.

"Mandatory CCTV cameras placed at critical points of animal welfare, recording the treatment of animals and routinely viewed and audited by an independent body would negate the need for activists to trespass to make their own recordings.

"The Morrison Government should be working to ensure transparency and accountability in the agriculture industry, not targeting distressed community members who concerned for the welfare of our animals," said Mr Pearson.

The Animal Justice Party NSW is especially critical of the Morrison Government's position given their history of failing to act on improving animal welfare – especially live export - and enforcing the relevant legislation.

"We know there is growing anxiety in our communities about animal cruelty in the animal agribusiness industry," said Animal Justice Party MP Emma Hurst.

"There is no protection for these animals outside of laws which the community recognises are failing.

"The huge majority of Australians want action to protect our animals. Here in New South Wales public pressure has already succeeded in starting an inquiry into the use of battery cages for hens in the egg industry.

"We urge the Morrison Government to turn their focus to animal protection and transparency in animal agribusiness industries," said Ms Hurst.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Rosina Rayns, 0401 991 792

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