Cosmetic Testing Adjournment Speech

The beauty industry is hiding an ugly secret: Animals are still being used for cosmetic testing. Right now rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats and mice are all having chemicals forced down their throats, dripped into their eyes and smeared into their bare skin. Pushed to their bodies' limits, they will be denied pain relief as they endure archaic chemical poisoning tests devised more than half a century ago. Then they will be killed callously once testing is complete. There is simply no excuse for that cruelty, yet it is estimated that around the world approximately 200,000 animals suffer and die from cosmetic testing each year. In Australia, while we may have taken steps to stop that abuse, our laws do not go far enough. Legislation banning the testing of cosmetics on animals came into effect in July of last year. The Federal Government recently announced a new voluntary code of practice to support the ban. However, disappointingly, Australia's ban on animal testing extends only to ingredients used exclusively for cosmetics, despite very few cosmetics being made with sole‑purpose cosmetic ingredients. Essentially, the Australian legislation came in when no sole focus cosmetic ingredient testing was occurring in Australia and had not for some time. Therefore, the Federal legislation makes no real change to animal testing in this country but rather creates confusion while we still test some cosmetic ingredients, and continue to import and sell cosmetics tested on animals overseas.

RSPCA data tells us that 85 per cent of Australians oppose testing cosmetics on animals, but what many consumers searching for non‑animal tested beauty products do not know is that we do not ban or properly regulate the claims made by companies that willingly test on animals overseas. Our current laws allow popular brands such as Bobbi Brown, MAC and Clinique to promote themselves as being cruelty free in Australia despite their items being tested on animals overseas. China is known not only as the world's second biggest cosmetics market but also as the world's biggest proponent of animal testing. It is the only country worldwide where, in many cases, animal testing for cosmetics is a requirement by law. While China is slowly moving away from this extreme cruelty by lifting its mandatory animal testing for domestically manufactured cosmetics in 2014 and announcing an end to similar testing for imported cosmetics in March this year, many cosmetic items are still legally required to undergo animal testing, including hair dyes, whitening products, sunscreens and anti‑hair loss products.

Animals will continue to be tortured for cosmetic testing as long as international brands continue to sell these products in China. If we are serious about stopping cosmetic testing on animals, we cannot allow these same brands to sell their products here, especially under the guise of bring cruelty free. With modern, non‑animal tests that better predict human reactions now available for the majority of cosmetic safety issues, animal testing should be a thing of the past. It is a conscious choice to engage in this cruelty. Our laws should properly reflect the values of the community and protect them from inadvertently supporting animal cruelty.

The precedent has been set. The European Union has already cemented itself as the world's largest animal testing free cosmetic market and is being closely followed by countries including India, Turkey, Switzerland and Chile. We need to do more than pass token legislation in an effort to join the international movement to protect animals. It is time for us to properly catch up. We have the support of the Australian public behind us, and with the right legislation we can create real change for the hundreds of thousands of animals that are still trapped in the cosmetic testing industry.

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Shark Nets Adjournment Speech

Every year across New South Wales hundreds of marine animals including dolphins, turtles, sharks and rays are dying in shark nets. Submerged around beaches from Newcastle to Wollongong, these killer nets are providing a false sense of security. In reality, research shows that nets are ineffective at protecting beachgoers whilst indiscriminately killing countless marine animals. With renewed calls for an end to the use of these killer nets, it is time the New South Wales Government listened to our communities and to science, and banned shark nets in New South Wales. Put simply, it is impossible for lethal shark control measures like shark nets to guarantee public safety.

Floating four or more metres below the surface, these nets do not connect with the shoreline. This allows for sharks and other animals to swim over, under and around the nets, something we know they often do. There is also no statistical evidence proving shark nets prevent shark bites, with recent research from both Deakin and Wollongong universities confirming just how ineffective these nets really are. In fact, CSIRO shark expert Barry Bruce has stated they should not be classed as a barrier but as a fishing device. In 2017 a Federal Senate committee recommended that shark nets be removed from all New South Wales beaches. The damage these lethal nets are doing to marine animals is clear. Shark nets are not species specific. Their holes are not big enough to let through sea turtles, nor are they visible enough to deter dolphins and whales. Because of this, in New South Wales alone shark nets have killed thousands of animals over the past nine years, including 503 hammerhead sharks, 293 rays, 72 turtles and 49 dolphins and whales. Many of these animals would have suffered for hours and slowly drowned. Over 19,000 animals are known to have met this brutal death in New South Wales shark nets. Even animals released alive are not guaranteed survival; the stress and injury of entanglement can cause death soon after.

From climate change to pollution and fishing, marine animals are facing threats from all sides and sharks are at serious risk. In fact, it is estimated that over the past 50 years, shark populations have dropped by 71 per cent, devastating marine ecosystems where they play a critical role as apex predators. We cannot continue adding to shark carnage with these cruel nets. And we do not need to because where shark nets are failing, other new technologies are succeeding. Drone and helicopter surveillance, shark listening stations, eco shark barriers and even personal shark deterrents are all methods that keep swimmers safe without the heavy toll on marine animals.

What is almost always overlooked is the most important shark mitigation strategy of all: beach patrols. Investing in lifeguard patrols and emergency responses have been highlighted by researchers as the most impactful way to keep people safe in the water. All but one of New South Wales' netted beaches are patrolled already, and it would be easy to invest the money and resources being used in shark netting programs in supporting our beach communities to expand the critical surf lifesaving programs already in place. The research makes it clear: Shark nets are not protecting us but they are indiscriminately killing tens of thousands of animals. With community support for shark net removal and so many effective and humane options to protect swimmers, there is no reason to keep netting our beaches. I urge councils across New South Wales and the New South Wales Government to listen to science and our communities. It is time to protect animals and remove these deadly nets from our waters.

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Non-human Rights Project Adjournment Speech

What are the legal rights of a human medical subject? Can we experiment on them against their will? Can we remove their organs without their consent? Can we force them to endure painful medical procedures for the greater good? The answer is, of course, no. But what if instead this subject is a chimpanzee—an animal with incredible cognitive ability that is intelligent, numerate, social, has moral capacity, culture and can engage in language? According to current law, we can easily do all of the above —and more. Currently our laws treat animals as legal things. They do not have rights. In fact, we do not even recognise them as having capacity for rights. No matter their intelligence, self-awareness or autonomy, their bodies—no matter what we inflict on themare owned.

We give animals no more rights than we would a car, a television or a pencil. This is in direct opposition to how humans are treated. Granted legal personhood, they do have rights and their autonomy is recognised under law. They are allowed to make their own choices and exercise control over their own bodies. And just to be clear, legal personhood is not limited to human beings. Corporations, religions, religious artefacts and rivers are just some of the entities that have been granted legal personhood. All have more rights than animals and, because of this, we continue to enslave and imprison autonomous and defenceless beings—but maybe not for much longer.

In 1996 animal rights lawyer Steven Wise launched the Nonhuman Rights Project, with the aim of granting legal personhood to non-human animals. Using a civil rights framework and rigorous scientific evidence, Wise and his team have already launched legal proceedings for eight animals, with courts and legislatures across the world beginning to recognise and act upon the systemic problem of animals being denied legal rights. The ball started rolling with the Nonhuman Rights Project securing the world's first habeas corpus hearings on behalf of chimpanzees and elephants. This centuries-old method of testing the lawfulness of imprisonment has—for the first time in global legal historyallowed arguments supporting the legal personhood and right to bodily liberty for animals to be heard in a court of law. Currently Steven Wise and the Nonhuman Rights Project are representing chimpanzees Tommy, Kiko, Hercules and Leo and elephants Beulah, Karen, Minnie and Happy. While their cases are ongoing, the results of this litigation has inspired international legal change:

In 2015 Sandra the Orangutan was released from solitary confinement at Buenos Aires Zoo after a judge ruled that she was legally not an animal but a non-human person who has rights. In 2016 an Argentinian judge released Cecilia the chimpanzee from solitary confinement following legal action based on the Nonhuman Rights Project's petitions. Last year Pakistan's high court used the Nonhuman Rights Project's cases to affirm the rights of non-human animals and release an elephant named Kaavan being held in solitary confinement. It is clear that across the world, the incredible work of the Nonhuman Rights Project is changing the conversation about recognising the rights of other species under law.

This change is critical. Rights are critical, because our laws are failing animals by working to regulate the manner in which they are treated, while exclusively prioritising the interests of humans and human institutions. The interests and experiences of these intelligent, sentient beings should not be secondary. All of human history shows that the only way to truly protect fundamental interests is to recognise rights—rights that protect against wrongs our society has deemed intolerable and unjustifiable, wrongs such as detaining individuals against their will without sufficient cause or subjecting them to mental or physical torture. These wrongs are experienced equally for humans and non-human animals alike. Thanks to the work of the Nonhuman Rights Project and Steven Wise, they are moving toward being treated as such.

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NSW Hen Rescue Members Statement

Since 2010 Catherine and David have been running NSW Hen Rescue, giving farmed hens a second chance. It is more accurate to say a first chance because for many of the hens that NSW Hen Rescue take in, it is their first chance to see sunshine, dust bathe, flap, preen, walk and even turn around. It is the first chance they have had to feel love, respect and safety. This opportunity has been provided to hundreds of hens thanks to the tireless work and dedication of Catherine and David and the supporters of Hen Rescue. In early 2020 they took in a burn victim called Amelia, who survived the bushfires that killed billions of animals. Hen Rescue was one of a small number of charities that saved the lives of farmed animals during the crisis. With the help of Hen Rescue, Amelia received urgent veterinary treatment that saved her life and she was one of the few hen victims of the bushfires to survive.

The pressure on charities that receive no government assistance for the work they do has a mental toll and a financial ceiling. NSW Hen Rescue has been operating from rented homes and has had to move seven times in the past 10 years. It recently had the stress of receiving a notice of eviction and is currently fundraising to set up a permanent rescue centre. Catherine and David do not want to shut down the rescue centre, but without a permanent location their vital work is simply not sustainable. A price cannot be put on the work done and the lives saved by this charity. As Catherine says, "Saving one animal won't change the world, but it will change the world for that one animal." I am pleased to report that Hen Rescue has found a residence, but the Government must do more to support the essential work carried out by similar rescue groups. On behalf of the many hens that have been saved, I thank Catherine and David for their life's work in providing these animals with a vestige of the life that was stolen from them.

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Koala Habitat Protection Adjournment Speech

Australia and New South Wales have been exposed once again as environmental destroyers. We are the only developed nation on the World Wildlife Fund's 2021 world list of deforestation hotspots, with eastern Australia named and shamed alongside Colombia, Peru, Laos and Mozambique. This should not come as a surprise. Land clearing in New South Wales has risen nearly 60 per cent since this Government relaxed our native vegetation protection laws in 2017. Now there are 980 threatened species and over 100 threatened ecological communities here in New South Wales. We are losing biodiversity at an alarming rate and Australia now has one of the highest rates of extinction in the world, yet this Government is refusing to act.

Good outcomes for animals and the environment clearly are not being achieved under the current laws. Assessing and listing threatened species is not good enough, because a lot of the time that is all we are doing. Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, there is no requirement to implement a species recovery plan or to report on progress and the outcomes achieved. Where plans are made, they generally are not backed by the necessary action to implement them. Under these arrangements our failures have been made abundantly clear. The list of threatened species and communities has increased over time and very few species have recovered to the point that they can be removed from the list. Koalas are a key example of this. These iconic animals continue to face extinction in New South Wales because of the Government's ongoing failure to take action.

Nine years ago koalas were listed as a vulnerable species requiring a recovery plan, which was supposed to be developed and commence in 2014. Now, in 2021, there still is no recovery plan for koalas. There is not even a threat abatement plan for koalas. Their populations continue to decline. Why? Because developers can still clear what little remains of koala habitat. While they may be required to "offset" what has been lost, government audits have found environmental offset programs often have been ineffective and have worsened the plight of endangered species. To make matters worse, in New South Wales offsets can just involve paying an additional fee. The Black Summer bushfires took a devastating toll on koalas. Approximately one‑third of koalas living in New South Wales were killed, and up to 70 per cent of the North Coast population was wiped out. The scale of loss is now understood to be so high that koala populations may now be upgraded from vulnerable to endangered. I say it again: Koalas face extinction in New South Wales.

Yet recently this Government has taken another step backward on koala protection. After finally updating the 25‑year‑old State Environmental Planning Policy for koalas in early 2020 to include improvements for koala protections, the Government then undercut any positive change this may have achieved for koalas by introducing the Local Land Services (Miscellaneous) Bill. This bill was referred to as the "koala killer" bill for a reason: It watered down the definition of "core koala habitat" and enabled land clearing for the majority of agribusiness without any provisions or restrictions. Thanks to the brave actions of the Hon. Catherine Cusack and her ongoing commitment to koala protection, the bill did not pass. But with the Government now reverting to a 25‑year‑old policy that continues to provide little protection for koalas, something needs to urgently change.

I say to this Government: Any new policy developed in 2021 must put in place genuine protections for koala habitat. Our failure to protect these animals cannot continue. Last week nearly 100 community members stood outside Parliament and tied messages to the fence line begging the Premier to protect these animals. Koalas have a right to survive. By creating the Great Koala National Park, ending native forest logging and ending the clearing of koala habitat for agriculture, mining and urban development, we can ensure they do. It is time the members of this House acknowledged other species' intrinsic value and their right to exist. What is faced by koalas is not unique. The Bellinger River snapping turtle, northern and southern corroboree frog, regent honeyeater, beach stone‑curlew and long‑footed potoroo are just some species facing a similar fate. We must act before animals become endangered and we must intervene to prevent extinction, because their lives should not be an afterthought. Their extinction and their suffering is caused by us.

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"Free-range" Cruelty Adjournment Speech

When you think of free range hens - what do you picture? Hens surrounded by green grass, dust bathing with space to roam?

This could not be further from the truth.

Let’s start with male chicks in the egg industry. Males are considered an unwanted by-product of the egg industry, as they don’t lay eggs.  So at just one day old they are thrown into a giant blender and macerated while fully conscious.

The females escape live maceration, but their fate isn’t any better. They’ll be transported to a so-called free range farm where they will stay until they die onsite or no longer lay enough eggs to be considered worthy of keeping alive.

And how much space do these hens have?

The Federal Government’s free-range egg standard came into force in April 2018, allowing animal agribusiness facilities to pack up to 10,000 hens into one hectare, leaving just one square metre of room for each bird. The standard does not specify that hens must actually go outside to be considered free range: in fact as long as they're provided access to the outdoors, the free range label still applies.

The outdoor space may not provide any shade or shelter from predators, or there may be so few openings on the side of sheds, some hens may never get close enough to an exit to venture outdoors. Drone footage from free range facilities in NSW have shown dry open spaces not used by fearful hens where no grass or covering is provided and with very few openings in the sheds. Footage has also shown that often the doors are never opened to provide outside access and this can be for a variety of reasons- worming, age of hens, suspected weather, or perhaps, dare I say, a day off for farm hands.

Inside these industrialised sheds the floor is often not cleaned until the hens are sent to slaughter, meaning faeces will build up over months. As a result of the ammonia, hens often develop breast blister and bumble foot”.

The bar has been set so low for a free range hen that when consumers find out the truth, many are unlikely to feel reassured by the label. And if you think that the lives of free-range hens sounds horrific - the lives of chickens in the meat industry are arguably worse.

For meat chickens, there is no legal definition of the term free rangeand standards can vary enormously. Free range broiler chickens are usually the same genetic freaks as factory farmed chickens: they are bred to grow at an unnatural rate, often collapsing under their own body weight. Experts say that meat chickens are in chronic pain for the last days of their lives.

For birds raised under the Free Range Egg & Poultry Australia standards, there can be approximately 15 birds living on floor the size of a small card table.

And while these chickens are expected to have eight hours' access to the outdoors, due to the cramped conditions, it can be difficult for them to make their way outdoors and once they reach a weight where it is painful for them to walk- outdoor access is simply impossible.

When these young birds reach 'slaughter weight', chicken catchers will grab them by their legs, stuff them into crates, and transport them to the slaughterhouse. Here they will be gassed, or dipped into an electrified bath before their throats are cut. If any chickens miss the stun bath, they face the blade fully conscious and ultimately drown in scalding water. There are no free range slaughterhouses. All farmed animals meet the same brutal and terrifying end.

This is the horrifying reality behind the "free range” label. To put it simply “Free Range” is a fraud. It has to be said- if you buy free range anything, you are being duped. There’s no such thing as an ethical egg or ethical animal flesh.

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Pig Farming Members Statement

In 1995 Babe graced our screens and stole our hearts. So much so that when the movie was released the sale of pig meat products dropped by 25 per cent in the United States. The human star of that film, James Cromwell, who played Farmer Hoggett, chose to go vegan during the film. He said:

I cared about their welfare and then, of course, you have lunch and it's all there in front of you, and I thought, I should go the whole hog, so to speak.

Of course, many pigs like Babe are being farmed in the New South Wales animal agribusiness industry. Many of those pigs are in sow stalls, which are small metal cages in which sows can barely take a step forward or backward, let alone turn around. Sows live—if it can be called living—in that tiny, squalid space after being forcibly mated or artificially inseminated. Sows cannot move, so their muscles and bones deteriorate, which causes intense physical pain. A week before a sow is due to give birth, she will be moved to another shed, filled with hundreds of other sows, where she will be imprisoned in a farrowing crate. She is held there for up to six weeks, unable to carry out her natural nesting behaviours.

Harrowing footage and photographs taken from sow stall sheds and farrowing crates in New South Wales show pigs biting at the bars of sow stalls, frothing at the mouth and suffering from horrific injuries, including swollen limbs, lameness and open wounds. I have seen footage over the years that showed sows lying dead, imprisoned in farrowing crates, rotten skin decaying over skulls as starving piglets lay beside their mothers. Dead sows can be seen across one piggery, some with their eyes eaten out by rats. Outside, open sacks are filled with yellow and pink dead piglets. This Christmas we must remember that severe animal cruelty is part of the unpalatable reality of piggeries. That is just a small insight into what goes on behind closed doors in the animal agribusiness industry. I urge the House to consider the horrors that those sows endure and to remember that compassion should spread to both human and non-human animals, because it takes nothing away from a human to be kind to animals.

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Licence to Harm Members Statement

As we head into yet another bushfire season, the horrific Black Summer bushfires are front of mind for many people in New South Wales. Across Australia 18.6 million hectares burned and over three billion animals died in fires of an intensity and scale that had never before been seen in living memory. Yet despite the extreme devastation and loss of life, the New South Wales Government continued to hand out over 2,000 licences to harm over 180,000 native animals. Wombats, kookaburras, kangaroos, possums and emus are among the native animals the Government was sentencing to death during the previous bushfire season, allowing private landowners to claim up to 500 lives under a single licence.

These licences are easy to obtain by simply filling out a form online and having a phone conversation with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. Properties do not even have to be visited to verify claims. Under this weak and destructive system, hundreds of thousands of native animals are left to die at the whim of private landowners, despite much of their habitat having been burned to the ground. It is hard to think of a reason to justify this slaughter, especially given the critical work of wildlife carers who were fighting day and night to save as many victims of the bushfires as possible. Despite their best efforts to protect suffering animals from further harm, all their hard work was being undone by bullets fired with the support of the Government.

Actions like this make it hard to believe the Government's claims that it is supporting wildlife recovery and conservation after the Black Summer bushfires, especially when we now know the truth about the appalling death toll and that these licences are still being distributed. With temperatures once again beginning to soar, animals are facing threats from all sides during the long, hot summer ahead. I call on the Government to take action to protect animals and ensure these callous licences to harm native animals are not among them.

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Cat and Dog Meat Adjournment Speech

Here’s a nauseating fact: Eating cats and dogs is legal in Australia. Our friends at World Dog Alliance in Hong Kong have reached out to us to help close this loophole and join the majority of other countries around the world that have prohibited eating cats and dogs. The last thing we need is another species of animal on the plate.

Cats and dogs are beloved family members in countless homes across NSW, so you would be forgiven for thinking that it is illegal to eat them.

It isn’t.

The reality is that only in South Australia is it illegal to consume cats and dogs. Here in NSW only the sale of cat and dog meat is illegal, meaning that killing these animals at home and eating their flesh is not. This creates a loophole where people can eat these animals provided they are not taking payment.

Our animal protection laws only protect cats and dogs from being killed in an explicitly cruel manner prior to being eaten. It is only when the slaughter caused the animal unnecessary pain or leads to the animal to have a prolonged death, can it constitute an offence under the general cruelty provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 or the Crimes Act 1900.

In other words, even if the RSPCA is made aware of cats and dogs being eaten, unless they can prove cruelty, there is little they can do. There are no laws to stop it.

These loopholes occur across the country and lead to sickening incidents.

In 2015 a skinned Cavalier King Charles spaniel was found at Raby, in Sydney. A vet confirmed the dog had evidence on her head of a captive bolt pistol, a device used for stunning animals prior to slaughter usually in an abattoir, leading to speculation that this incident was linked to an underground market for dog meat.

Just last year in Tasmania the Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania served up a dish of dead cat as part of an art exhibit.

The fact that this is still allowed to occur is in stark contrast to community expectations.

Each year we see widespread condemnation of the controversial Yulin dog meat festival, or action taken against the continuing sale of dog meat in holiday hotspots. People are horrified to find out that every year millions of dogs and cats are bred, stolen and slaughtered around the world for their flesh.

It has now been a year since I introduced a petition of more than 500 signatures requesting that the Government introduce legislation to completely ban the consumption of cats and dogs in New South Wales. It has been a year, and yet the Government has taken no action.

We cannot wait any longer. It’s time to close the loopholes allowing this brutal underground activity to be carried out, because while it remains, all cats and dogs in NSW will remain at risk.

But consider this too: Finger pointing at other cultures is easy — what’s harder is recognising that no animal wants to suffer and die for our palate. Fish or chicken or pig or dog- they have the same ability to feel pain, the same ability to suffer, and the same capacity to experience joy.

Yes, let’s be outraged by the legal loophole that allows companion animals to be eaten in Australia. Let's push to close that loophole. But let's also extend this compassion to all animals, and leave every species off the plate.

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Shark Finning Adjournment Speech

Millions of sharks are still being slaughtered for their fins, suffering prolonged and painful deaths for the sake of a disturbing so-called delicacy—shark fin soup. Finning a shark is not only a death sentence but the process is also extremely cruel. Fishermen slice off sharks' fins while they are still alive, holding them down as they writhe in pain and slowly suffocate on deck before dumping them overboard and leaving the traumatised animals, who are now unable to swim, to sink to the ocean floor. The horrific practice of finning sharks at sea is done exclusively for profit because fishers can bring in more fins than they would be able to if they took the full body of each slaughtered shark. Shark fins are still being sold in Sydney for a hefty $1,000 price tag. In Australia live shark finning is illegal, yet because legislation differs between various States and the Commonwealth it is extremely difficult to monitor fisheries' compliance with shark finning legislation and sharks continue to be at risk of illegal finning.

In 2015 a boat was apprehended in Queensland waters carrying 3,200 shark fins most likely destined for the black market. The fine given for the death of the 641 finned sharks was only $7,750, putting the penalty for each animal at just $12. That is hardly a deterrence for others thinking of engaging in such a horrific practice. In 2017 in New South Wales fisheries officers located and seized 40 kilograms of illegally obtained shark fins, revealing that hundreds of sharks are still being finned in our waters. Yet while live finning may be illegal in Australia our laws continue to support and condone this cruel industry by allowing the export and import of shark fins. In the 2011‑12 financial year Australia exported 178 tonnes of shark fins which is the equivalent of approximately 89,000 shark fins. Australia also imported 41 tonnes of shark fin, which is the equivalent of another 20,500 fins.

Those figures are horrifying not only because they put into perspective how destructive the industry is—Australia ranks sixteenth in the world for imports of shark fin—but because they make clear the number of horrific live finning deaths we are sponsoring, given that we continue to allow the importation of shark fin. Genetic research has revealed that a high proportion of globally traded fins come from species that have serious conservation risks. By importing shark fin from overseas we are directly contributing to the slaughter of those endangered species, given our weak regulations on the labelling or mislabelling of those so‑called products. Keep in mind it is an industry that is not only condemning millions of sharks to cruel and traumatic deaths but is also destroying our oceans. It is well‑recognised among experts that the international shark fin trade is responsible for the decline in shark populations. Sharks are especially vulnerable to overfishing because of their slow growth and relatively low rates of reproduction.

It is no wonder that nearly one‑third of oceanic sharks are listed as threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Sharks, which are dying in their millions, are apex predators. It is they who keep the critical balance of our oceans in check. Without them delicate ocean ecosystems will suffer and are already suffering unpredictable and devastating consequences, including the loss of marine diversity and declining food sources for scavengers. With sharks continuing to die in their millions and the future of our oceans at stake, we cannot continue to support this cruel and inhumane industry. It is time Australia took action to address the worldwide decline in sharks caused by the devastating shark fin trade. We must ban the import and export of shark fins. We must legislate and enforce tougher penalties for those who illegally kill for shark fins. We must make it an offence to sell food containing shark fins in New South Wales.

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