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Emma's September Newsletter

Our MP Emma Hurst hit the ground this year by introducing 5 new bills in the first week of parliament! Bills to:

  1. Outlaw puppy farming,
  2. Stop the use of gas chambers on pigs,
  3. Outlaw battery cages,
  4. End the use of forced swim and smoking experiments on animals, and
  5. Stop gambling on animals.

Emma has not stopped. In a groundbreaking development, the NSW Government created a new Standing Committee on Animal Welfare, to be chaired by Emma Hurst. This committee will run for the entire term of Parliament and will hold inquiries into animal welfare and protection issues. 

What makes this development even more remarkable is that it marks the first time in roughly three decades that a new standing committee has been established in the NSW Parliament. It's a clear sign of the Animal Justice Party's increasing influence in pushing animal rights to the forefront of political discourse.

Emma has secured inquiries into vet shortage, the broken pound system, birth trauma and brumbies and so so much more.

Reforming the Broken Pound System: Pound conditions, welfare challenges, euthanasia rates, and the tireless work done by rescue groups are all on the agenda. Submissions closed on August 18, 2023, a date for hearings is yet to be set.

Taking a Stand on Pig Welfare: Following an eye-opening expose by Farm Transparency and the ABC, Emma Hurst introduced a bill aimed at banning the use of gassing cells on pigs. The welfare of these intelligent creatures is at the heart of this legislation.

Addressing Rental Laws for Pet Owners: With more people and animals becoming homeless due to the scarcity of pet-friendly rental accommodations in NSW, Emma took action to change rental laws, making it easier for renters to secure housing with their furry companions.

Ending the Commercial Kangaroo Killing Industry: After another shocking revelation by the ABC, Emma is pushing for reform in this space and has set up a meeting with the Minister for Environment.

Protecting Our Koalas: Emma joined advocacy groups in calling for the establishment of the Great Koala National Park and attended the launch of the new Parliamentary Friends of Koalas group.

  • Emma has re-established the Parliamentary Friends of Animals, and Parliamentary Friends of Women’s Health groups – Emma will chair both.
  • Emma asked questions in Parliament about:
  • Barcia Jazz, a greyhound killed on the way to the US as part of the industry’s so-called ‘rehoming program’ (we have asked further questions investigating her death)
  • Buddy, a dog held in a NSW Pound who was forbidden to be rehomed as the Pound claimed he was a ‘restricted breed’ and was euthanised.
  • The outdated Rodeo Code in NSW, which has not been reviewed in over 30 years and still allows cruel calf roping
  • Emma has also asked questions on notice about the Varroa mite emergency response, 1080 baiting and aerial shooting
  • Emma also introduced a notice of motion, and gave a speech, calling for a ban on shark nets – following a new report from Envoy Foundation highlighting the harm caused by these nets to protected species and the marine environment, without any proven safety benefits to humans.
  • We sought internal documents from the NSW Police concerning investigations into the prevalence and legality of pig-dogging – watch this space!
  • The record Government funding we secured last year was finally distributed on 30 June 2023 – including $750,000 to Lucy’s Project, $350,000 to Greyhound Rescue, $1.5 million for cat desexing, $26 million for animal cruelty enforcement and $5 million for rescue groups
  • We met with the Minister for Local Government to discuss pound reform and breed specific legislation
  • Emma attended an event held by Magic Valley to learn more about cultivated meat and introduced a notice of motion in Parliament on the same topic – calling for more funding to support this emerging industry
  • Emma also spoke out about concerning new funding being given to the greyhound racing industry, from the gambling industry, which you can read about here
  • Emma held a press conference condemning the Government's decision to put shark nets back in the water for another season. The press conference was attended by HSI, Action for Dolphins and Sea Shepherd along with MPs across the political divide from the Liberal Party, Legalise Cannabis, Liberal Democrats, Independents and Greens, and received major media attention.
  • Emma also passed a notice of motion calling on the Government support local NSW councils to move away from shark nets.
  • Emma established an inquiry into the aerial shooting of brumbies in Kosciuszko National Park – you can make a submission HERE. This will be the first inquiry held by her new ‘Animal Welfare Standing Committee’.
  • Emma moved a ‘Matter of Public Importance’ to debate the Government's plan to aerial shoot brumbies. This is a motion which stops Government business in Parliament and takes precedence for the day. In her speech, Emma called for a moratorium on all killing and removal of brumbies until an independent, accurate recount is undertaken, and also highlighted the need to invest in fertility control. 
  • Emma passed a notice of motion calling on the NSW Government to investigate ways to better protect humans with animals in the context of domestic violence, including consideration of animal custody orders. This is the first step towards big change in this space, and a change to the legal fiction that animals are property.
  • We had the first two hearing days of the Inquiry into the Veterinary Shortage. There was a lot of focus on the need for a ‘Veticare’ scheme, as well as greater Government funding for veterinarians and rescue groups who care for homeless companion animals and wild animals. 
  • We also tabled motions in Parliament about international cat day, the failure of the greyhound ‘whole of life’ tracking system and the dodgy dealings of the greyhound racing industry, the need for a moratorium on brumby shooting, the AJP’s kangaroo protest, the need for a genuine sea sanctuary for NSW’s last dolphins in captivity, and concerns regarding the failings of the APVMA (who approves the use of poisons like 1080 and Fipronil).
  • Emma asked questions on notice about what the NSW Government is doing in response to the news that Dolphin Marine Conservation Park has gone into voluntary administration, putting the wellbeing of these animals at further risk. 
  • We also tabled a Parliamentary call for papers, calling for hidden Government documents about forced smoking experiments.
  • Emma had meetings with key Ministers about battery cages, protecting kangaroos, oversight of the greyhound and horse racing industry, changes to the Companion Animals Act to protect dogs, and urgent reforms need to NSW rental laws to allow animals.
  • Emma tabled 3 petitions calling on the Government to (1) stop the brutal killing of brumbies in KNP, (2) to protect giant cuttlefish populations who are at risk of extinction from spearfishing on the NSW coast, and (3) to protect bees, including our native bees, from the hideous NSW Government poisoning and killing program.
  • Emma questioned Ministers in Question Time about the anomalies within the Exhibited Animals Act, outdated rental laws affecting animals and the impact of speed limits on wildlife.
  • Emma spoke in Parliament about the need for the Labor Government to urgently establish the Great Koala National Park and ban native forest logging and condemned the Labor Government for spending millions of dollars of cruel, ineffective programs targeting non-native animals. 
  • Emma met with animal protection organisation Save Sydney Koalas regarding their ongoing work to protect koalas from the impact of development, particularly in the Campbelltown region.
  • Emma gave a speech in Parliament about the need to protect birdlife. 
  • Emma spoke at the 2023 Australian and New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching (ANZCCART) Conference about her work on the NSW animal experimentation inquiry, with a focus on the need for alternatives to animal experimentation.
  • Emma spoke to the media about her concerns regarding the NSW Labor Government’s decision not to underground transmission lines for renewable energy projects, which is going to have a major impact on animals and the environment. 
  • Emma became an inaugural member of the Parliamentary Friends of Forests group.