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The Animal Justice Party has slammed the Berejiklian Government’s decision to put in place new penalties prosecuting animal rights activists today, saying that the decision is regressive and goes against community expectations.

“The Berejiklian Government’s decision condones animal cruelty,” said Animal Justice MP, Emma Hurst.

“It targets community members who are desperately trying to bring to light acts of animal cruelty and torture that occur behind closed doors in farms, slaughterhouses and on feedlots.

“The Australian public has seen the horrific acts of animal abuse that occur within the animal agribusiness industry. From “drop kicking” sheep heads to torturing chickens, we know that our animal protection laws are failing.

These are nothing more than agricultural gagging laws designed to stop consumer knowledge about the hidden treatment of animals,” said Ms Hurst.

Coming into effect next month, the new penalties target animal rights activists who will reportedly face fines of up to $220,000 per person for trespassing onto agricultural properties. The Animal Justice Party says such a penalty is “outlandish” given NSW legislation only allows individuals charged with animal cruelty to be fined up to $5,500.

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

“If animal agribusiness genuinely believes there is no ethical issue with cramming tens of thousands of chickens in windowless sheds, forcing them to grow at an unnaturally high speed and allowing them develop of breast blisters from lying in the build-up of faeces and urine, then install CCTV inside these sheds and live stream it over the internet.

“If the industry had transparency, there would be no one trespassing to expose what is happening behind closed doors.

“The community is becoming more aware of animal abuse and have seen how badly our animal protection laws are failing.

“Mr Marshall should be working to improve the failing enforcement system and develop better animal protection laws, not targeting distressed community members who care for animals.

“We are calling on the Berejiklian Government to rethink this decision and instead turn their attention to animal protection and transparency in animal agribusiness industries,” said Ms Hurst.


22nd JULY 2019

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