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.
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