• XENOTRANSPLANTATION

    15th September 2016

    Adjournment speech.

    Xenotransplantation.

    XENOTRANSPLANTATION

    The Hon. MARK PEARSON (16:23): Xenotransplantation is the transplantation of living cells, tissues or organs from one species to another. There are currently xenotransplantation experiments occurring at Prince Alfred Hospital using baboons from the Wallacia breeding facility. A recent media exposédescribed Frankenstein-like operations that transplanted organs from pigs into baboons. Millions of dollars of taxpayer‑funded research grants is used, but the hospitals are not required to provide details to the public about the nature of these experiments. Questions to the Minister have failed to yield answers.

    Human-to-human organ transplants are now routinely performed on patients with organ failure. Australia is a world leader for successful organ transplant outcomes but is twenty-second on the international list for organ donations. Public awareness is, however, improving. In 2015, 69 per cent of Australians indicated a willingness to become organ and tissue donors and there was a record 435 organ donations to 1,241 patients. The Federal and State governments have implemented a national reform program to increase donation rates. The program will implement a world’s best practice approach to organ and tissue donation for transplantation. Its aim is to increase clinical capacity and capability, and to increase community engagement and awareness in relation to organ donation.

    Unfortunately, the current rate of organ donation does not meet demand, and this has been used to justify xenotransplantation with animals. Xenotransplantation occurs predominantly with primates and pigs and is a death sentence for those animals. If xenotransplantation ever becomes a surgical practice there will be mass wastage preceded by enormous suffering for the animals. Sentient beings will be reduced to nothing more than spare parts and tens of thousands of animals will die miserable deaths in laboratory conditions.

    Xenotransplantation seriously impacts animal wellbeing. From the moment the animal is born it is unable to express natural behaviours and will suffer frustration, deprivation and stress. The sterile conditions in which the genetically engineered animals to be used for transplants will be kept poses a significant stress factor. To reduce the risk of exposure to disease sows have their pregnant wombs removed and the piglets are placed into a sterile environment. The piglet is unable to suckle from its mother, it is medicated and reared on artificial foods containing no animal products.

    Aside from the animal suffering involved in xenotransplantation, there are serious human health risks with this procedure. Possible problems with transplantation of whole organs from animals to humans include viral diseases transferred from animals, rejection of the organs by the patient’s immune system, and differences in structure and biochemistry between human and animal organs. Pigs contain endogenous retroviruses that are passed on to offspring in the DNA of normal chromosomes, and therefore cannot be eliminated. Viral sequences in host DNA can be activated to produce infectious viruses in mice, cats and gibbons that are closely related to leukaemia viruses and are a second cousin to HIV.

    The following are examples of diseases transferred from primates to humans: monkey pox is a virus originating in African monkeys causing a 10 per cent fatality rate in humans; the HIV-AIDS virus is thought to have come from the primate simian immunodeficiency virus [SIV]; seven laboratory workers died following exposure to Marburg virus through African green monkey kidneys; Ebola virus recently killed thousands of people in central Africa and has been linked to monkeys; and the herpes B virus is a common infection of macaque monkeys, but in humans it can develop into a fatal neurological disease. Given the terrible animal suffering and massive wastage of sentient beings, the risks to human health and the expense involved in experimentation, would it not make more sense to save money and encourage a more compassionate outcome for all beings by focusing our efforts and resources on community education programs to promote organ donations? These research materials were sourced by Dr Suzanne Pope.

  • DRAFT MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR BRUMBIES

    22nd August 2016

    It seems the NPWS and the Office of Environment & Heritage continue to push their mass slaughter agenda, one that will result in brutal cruelty.  My office submitted or submission to the Draft Plan of Management in which we address the multitude of inaccuracies and failings of the plan and associated technical reports. Our submission makes a number of sensible, proven, sustainable and most of all humane recommendations to address the lack of science, independence and long term outlook of the plan.

    Reading the plan the question has to be asked as to what the proposed slaughter is actually setting out to achieve other than bloodshed. The government is endorsing this slaughter on the supposed huge increase in numbers yet it contradicts itself by saying, in effect, it has no real idea on the numbers. The assertion that fertility control measures are ineffective and the glowing endorsement in the ITRG Report of aerial culling as the best option for animal welfare fly in the face of past mistakes, mistakes that resulted in terrible animal cruelty and suffering.

    In light of all this our submission makes three critical recommendations that MUST be implemented now so as the other recommendations and information can be assessed. These 3 critical recommendations are:

    “For all the reasons outlined in this submission the Animal Justice Party totally disagrees with the draft Plan and recommends as a matter of urgency and public interest that the following be adopted:
    1. That this draft Plan and wild horse (brumby) management in general be subject to the proper parliamentary scrutiny via a Committee Inquiry.
    2. That this current draft Plan and ongoing processes be placed on immediate hold pending the recommendations of the above inquiry.
    3. Passive trapping and rehoming of suitable horses should continue with increased transparency and responsibility taken by the NPWS.”

    To read our full submission please go to our AJP Brumby Plan Submission page.

  • PLANNED KANGAROO SLAUGHTER AT PENRITH ANGLICAN COLLEGE

    12th August 2016

    Relocation not Extermination for Penrith Anglican College Kangaroos

    There has been a justifiable outcry against plans by the Penrith Anglican College to ask the NPWS to kill 15 healthy male kangaroos selected from an existing mob of kangaroos that live and range between the school’s 40 acres and the adjacent Orchard Hills RAAF base.

    In response Mark wrote a letter to the Principal of the school detailing that there is non-lethal methods of removal that have been long tried and tested. Given the emails and phone calls that our office have received over the last few days, we are sure that many of the parents and students of the school would be relieved to know that there are options available that do not include the slaughter of our native animals. In addition Mark asked a question of the Minister for Environment regarding the issue of the kill permits and assessment process.

    Claims of kangaroo over-population are untested and given that there have been no recorded instances of aggression or injuries caused by these kangaroos, it is a massive over-reaction by the school to seek NPWS permits for the killing of these native animals.

    With 40 acres of grounds, it would seem not unreasonable to allow a defined area for habitat and erect fencing to prevent the students from coming into close contact with the kangaroos. If that is not possible, then a program of tranquilliser darting of the kangaroos for removal and relocation is a far more humane method of managing the kangaroos than simply applying a death sentence. ‘Remote chemical capture and release’ has proven to be a very safe and effective way of relocating macropod populations.

    What kind of message is the school sending to its students that killing healthy kangaroos is an acceptable form of native animal management? I am sure if we asked the students they would be open to a more humane solution.

    LATEST UPDATE

    Due to the public pressure and communication of concern from the Animal Justice Party it appears the mass grave pit has been filled in and talks are ongoing in regards to a relocation program. This is a sensible decision by the school and demonstrates that professional negotiations and respectful dialogue led by the Animal Justice Party can result in success for all involved.

  • SOUTH COAST ANIMAL ADVOCATES AND MARCH FOR THE MILLIONS

    21st July 2016

    It is so energising to witness and be a part of the positive growth of animal advocacy and activism across NSW. This weekend I am lucky enough to be representing the Animal Justice Party across the NSW community in our united quest to improve the lives for all animals.

    Saturday, 23rd of July sees me speaking at the official launch of South Coast Animal Advocates group in Batemans Bay NSW.

    The South Coast Animal Advocates was originally formed as a Facebook page as part of World Animal Protection’s campaign to end live export. Since late last year, the group has become more than an online presence, and has attracted members who have been meeting regularly.

    One of the aims of the group is to be a voice for all animals by advocating animal protection to all members of parliament, particularly our local members for federal and state governments, other political candidates, and local councils.

    Other guest speakers include Dr Bidda Jones (Chief Science and Strategy Officer at RSPCA Australia), and Dr Lynn Simpson (former vet on board live export ships, as recently featured on ABC’s 7.30).

    Anyone interested in attending or making contact should email tracey@framedbytracey.com 


    Sunday, 24th July, I along with many others will walk together to pay our respects to the millions of racing greyhounds who have died in this cruel industry. We will also celebrate NSW Premier Mike Baird’s proposal to legislate the end of greyhound racing in NSW. The March for the Murdered Millions is a nationwide event and for more information please see the Facebook event page.

    The ban is not over the line yet, industry is spending tens of thousands of dollars per month not on greyhound welfare but on professional lobby groups, media spin and propaganda gurus. We MUST show the government how much we support the ban, we must support the brave decision of Mike Baird, lets show NSW Labor and Luke Foley that he is so terribly wrong and that those that care for animals are not ‘elitist’ or just from the inner city.

    I will be speaking at the event along with Mehreen Faruqi, lets pay our respects to all the animals that have and are suffering at the hands of this industry. Lets celebrate a historical path forward in closing the book on this industry in NSW.

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  • Greyhound

    NSW GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES THE END TO GREYHOUND RACING

    7th July 2016

    MEDIA RELEASE

    NSW Premier Mike Baird has announced that NSW will become the first Australian state to shut down greyhound racing after a Special Commission of Inquiry found overwhelming evidence of systemic animal cruelty, including mass greyhound killings and live baiting.

    This is one of the largest victories for animals in many, many years and both Mark Pearson and the Animal Justice Party congratulate and commend the NSW government for assessing the inquiry findings and listening to the community.

    “This is a great outcome and I believe a huge thank you needs to be given to the animal activists that put their liberties and welfare on the line to expose the barbaric cruelty that was lurking below the surface of this industry. If it was not for the expose ‘Making A Killing’ aired on ABC 4 Corners with undercover footage of live baiting there would not have been an inquiry. This is a testament to these activists and their work, work that has been likened to terrorism by some in the government.”

    The report of the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry in NSW released by Premier Baird documented serious, systemic cruelty and welfare issues. It found that between at least half of all greyhounds bred to race – were killed in the past 12 years because they were deemed ‘uncompetitive’. It went on to state that up to 20 per cent of trainers engage in live baiting and 180 greyhounds a year sustain “catastrophic injuries” during races, such as skull fractures and broken backs that resulted in their immediate deaths. The inquiry noted that the industry was not capable of reforming in the short or medium term.

    “The report finally documented what many among the community knew, and that was that the greyhound racing industry is one based on exploitation and cruelty of the highest order. It is an industry that has no excuses left anymore and is one that is closing down all across the world.

    Further details of the phase out plan will be revealed but what we know is it will include:

    • A welfare plan for existing greyhounds, including opportunities for re-homing;
    • An adjustment package for industry participants; and
    • A transition arrangement for existing Greyhound Racing NSW assets that will ensure they are used for open public space, alternative sporting facilities or other community use.

    Having the Animal Justice Party in NSW Parliament, we can ensure the government will stay true to its words and provide the best re-homing outcomes for the greyhounds. It is critical that the government provide the resources necessary to ensure every single one of the dogs remaining in the industry after the ban be given the best chance to a peaceful post racing life.

    This is a win for the greyhounds, the piglets, possums, chickens and rabbits used as live bait. It is a win for animal activism and animal advocates across the country, this is a win for the broader society. As Mahatma Gandhi stated

    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

    mark-pearson-greyhound-rally-sydney-2

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