The Kangaroo-Killing Industry
One of Australia's greatest shames is the kangaroo‑killing industry. I have seen joeys bludgeoned to death, their small bodies discarded by the side of bush tracks, bashed and mutilated; kangaroos with their heads cut off, cut further down their body depending on how inaccurate the shot was; and bodies of kangaroos in chiller boxes, infested with maggots and flies, ready to be picked up for processing. And what is it all for? It is for pet foods, sausages and kangaroo leather to make a bloody pair of shoes.
There are so many reasons not to wear kangaroo leather, eat kangaroo flesh or feed it to companion animals. The simple fact that the national code of practice allows a joey to be pulled from its dead mother's pouch and killed with blunt force trauma to destroy their brain says it all. Kangaroo meat is legalised cruelty. It is hard to believe, but shooting a mother and smashing her baby's head in is sanctioned by this Government. In fact, it is all in a day's work in the Australian kangaroo industry. It is truly heartbreaking that that is how we have chosen to treat sentient animals, particularly one of our iconic native animals. Part of the problem is that the industry is hidden. The killing happens in remote areas in the dead of night, far from any oversight and from the community, who would be horrified to know what is going on.Read more
Peanuts Wellbeing Sanctuary Member's Statement
At Peanuts Wellbeing Sanctuary, animals who have suffered abuse and neglect now live in a safe, caring environment, where they are rehabilitated by the sanctuary team. The animals, which include pigs, sheep, dogs, goats and cats, are either rehomed to willing families or live out the rest of their days in the capable care of the sanctuary. Peanuts Wellbeing Sanctuary also provides another essential service. They work closely with local organisations like Shine for Kids to provide animal assisted activities and animal therapy to children from neglected and abusive backgrounds, and children and young adults impacted by the criminal justice system.Read more
Ducks Out of Water Adjournment Speech
More than eight million ducks are farmed and killed in the Australian duck meat industry. In New South Wales there is no legal requirement to provide ducks with water to swim, preen or bathe. Our laws are failing. The term "like a duck out of water" means someone out of their natural or normal environment and for the animals in the duck farming industry, that is their daily reality. Ducks are aquatic animals that require water to clean themselves, regulate their temperature and take pressure off their joints. Depriving them of something as fundamental as water can lead to severe health problems such as lameness, dislocated joints, broken bones, splay legs, heat stress and keratoconjunctivitis—a serious eye condition that causes blindness.Read more
Right to Release - Speech introducing the Bill
On behalf on the Animal Justice Party, I am proud to introduce the Animal Research Amendment (Right to Release) Bill 2022. The aim of the bill is to give dogs and cats used in animal experimentation the right to be released. It will give these animals a chance to find a loving home where they are able to live out their lives. Many people in the community are not even aware that companion animals are still used in medical experimentation. It is a secret that the industry works hard to keep. Many universities and private research institutions have long phased out the use of dogs and cats. But in 2020 almost 1,000 dogs and 500 cats were still being kept and used in animal experimentation, just in the State of New South Wales. In 2020 no dogs and only 75 cats were rehomed. In 2019, no cats and only 30 dogs were rehomed.Read more
Surgical Artificial Insemination and Dog Breeding Adjournment Speech
During budget estimates earlier this month I questioned the Minister for Agriculture about the surprise removal of surgical artificial insemination procedures from the list of banned procedures in the draft Animal Welfare Bill. This surgical procedure, which is entirely unnecessary and causes significant pain to female dogs—particularly dogs used in the greyhound racing industry—was going to be banned under the draft Animal Welfare Bill until, just a few weeks into his role, the Minister for Agriculture suddenly intervened.Read more
Motion to Fund Additional Mobile Vet Trucks for Emergency Situations
The recent floods in northern New South Wales have been discussed at length in this place, and for good reason. These floods have been devastating for communities, devastating for people and devastating for animals. One call that I got during those floods was from the Animal Welfare League [AWL] to let me know that its vet truck had been deployed to Lismore. Apparently the local police station had called the Animal Welfare League because every vet service in Lismore was completely underwater. What that meant for the people in Lismore is that, if they had animals that had been injured during the floods or even if they had lost companion animals and people had found companion animals, they could not even scan the microchips for those animals because the scanners were underwater inside the veterinary practices.Read more
Humane Research Australia Member's Statement
Forced to inhale cigarette smoke. Starved. Exposed to harsh chemicals. Frightened, isolated, and held captive. This is the life of the estimated 11 million animals used for scientific research in Australia. I recently read about an experiment at Monash University where researchers repeatedly induced stress and fear in a group of marmosets held captive in their laboratory, before killing them and studying their brains, with the apparent purpose of studying primate survival instincts.
This abject cruelty and neglect is widespread in scientific research, but there is an organisation that’s fighting to change the status quo: Humane Research Australia. Founded in 1979, the HRA has worked for over four decades to expose the cruel treatment of animals in medical experimentation, and to support scientists to find alternative research methods.
Despite the length and breadth of HRA’s work against animal experimentation, troublingly, little progress has been made towards normalising non-animal methods in most Australian scientific research. A Senate Committee recommended that the Federal Government fund research into alternatives to animal research in 1989, a recommendation which the government has never acted on.Read more
Brumbies at Kosciusko Adjournment Speech
In January this year, I visited Kosciuszko National Park with the Snowy Mountains Sustainable Management Group. I travelled throughout two-thirds of Northern end of Kosciuszko, where the NSW Government claims there are over 12,511 brumbies. After a full day of searching, we found just 24 brumbies. If the Government’s claims about the number of brumbies were correct, I should have seen thousands.
Here’s the truth: the methodology used by the NSW Government to estimate populations of wild animals is seriously flawed, as demonstrated in the recent Inquiry into the Health and Wellbeing of Kangaroo and other Macropods in NSW. We have no idea how many brumbies there are in Kosciusko, and the numbers pushed by the Government are likely to be grossly exaggerated in the same way that the number of kangaroos we have are grossly exaggerated. Right now, the Government continue to cause stress and controversy by sending horses at Kosciusko national park to knackeries, rather than using scientifically sound methods to understand the true number of horses in in the national park and by failing to use other humane solutions.
And there are other solutions. We could be using humane methods like fertility control to reduce the number of horses in sensitive areas of the park, and we could be investing in genuine animal sanctuaries who will provide whole of life care for these animals. While the Government reject humane avenues and continue to take advantage of animal carers in the local community, horses continue to suffer horrific deaths, native animals remain at threat, and communities are stressed about animal cruelty.Read more
Voluntary Assisted Dying - Speech in Support of the Bill
As a co-sponsor of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021, it will come as no surprise that I support this legislation, which is long overdue. Currently, New South Wales is the only State in Australia without a voluntary assisted dying framework. It is disappointing, but not surprising, that a member of the crossbench, the Independent member for Sydney, rather than the Government, has brought this critical bill before the Parliament. I take this opportunity to acknowledge Mr Greenwich and his team for their tireless work in bringing this bill forward.Read more
Monika's DoggieRescue Members Statement
Every animal deserves a loving home, and ending up in the wrong pound or shelter should not be a death sentence. Tens of thousands of animals die in New South Wales pounds each year, making the work of animal rescuers like Monika Biernacki, owner of Monika's DoggieRescue, so vitally important. An animal rescued by Monika is saved for life. At her shelter here in Sydney, Monika and her team often care for hundreds of rescue dogs at any one time, helped by loving foster homes and carers. Together they provide a safe haven for hundreds of homeless animals, many of whom are sick, old, pregnant or abused and were once sitting on death row in council pounds. They include dogs like Coco, who was on death row because he was anxious and scared of children, and cats like Ariel, who was rescued just moments before she would have been put down despite her medical issues being treatable.
Those fur babies and many others are now happy, healthy and ready to find their forever homes thanks to Monika's tireless work. While "convenience" killing in New South Wales pounds still exists, we are lucky to have people like Monika who know that all animals, regardless of their start to life, deserve another chance. People like her are willing to put in the work to make sure the animals' needs are met regardless of how challenging they might be and willing to give their time, energy, money and heart to save a life. But Monika and her team can do only so much. With no Government funding and the huge number of abandoned animals in this State, the animals they save are the lucky ones. Many others are killed and given no chance for a better life. I am sure Monika would agree that this urgently needs to change. As we work towards those changes through the Parliamentary Friends of Animals Pound Reform Working Group, I thank Monika and her staff and volunteers for the lifesaving work they are doing and have done over the past 20 years. I thank them for saving the lives of 13,000 dogs and 800 cats. Monika and her team are genuine lifesavers.