• 06/10/2015: Where Pigs Fly animal sanctuary visit

    I would like to thank Debbie Pearce for inviting me as guest speaker for World Animal Day at the newly established Where Pigs Fly sanctuary.

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    Education on the intelligence, beauty and sentience of animals is key to promoting a more compassionate and peaceful world. As well as providing for animals in need of care and comfort sanctuaries will play a huge part in the ongoing education of compassion and empathy for all sentient beings.

    Most sanctuaries run solely on donations from the public and the good will and hard work of volunteers. Please consider visiting Where Pigs Fly and keep an eye out for their next open day.

    http://www.wherepigsfly.org/

  • Mark Pearson at World Animal Day

    World Animal Day

    I would like to thank Debbie Pearce for inviting me as guest speaker for World Animal Day at the newly established Where Pigs Can Fly Sanctuary.
    Sanctuaries are great for animals in need of care and comfort, and for humans to learn and practice compassion and empathy for all sentient beings.

    Click here to learn more 

  • 24/09/2015: Animal Justice’s Mark Pearson condemns Baird’s reward to the Shooters and Fishers; Night Hunting of Native Birds

    The Baird Government has quietly introduced an amendment to the Game and Feral Animal Control Amendment (Native Game Birds) Regulation 2015 (NSW) to allow licenced night hunting of native birds. This amendment follows swiftly upon Shooters and Fishers MPs voting in favour of the controversial Biosecurity Bill and with the Newcastle Rail Bill poised for a vote in the upper house.

    Recreational hunting of native birds was rightly banned in 1995 but there have been a number of attempts to subvert the ban since then” says Mark Pearson.

    See my official MEDIA RELEASE

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  • 16/09/2015: Question Without Notice, Coffs Harbour Marine Magic

    The Hon. MARK PEARSON: My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Primary Industries, and Minister for Lands and Water. Is the Minister aware of any documentary evidence relied upon by his department to establish that the welfare of the dolphins at the Coffs Harbour-based Dolphin Marine Magic pool is compliant with the dolphin standards under the Exhibited Animals Protection Act 1986 in that there are no stereotypic aberrant behaviours associated with continual distress and stress, nor are there genetic abnormalities associated with inbreeding?

    The Hon. NIALL BLAIR: I am advised that the exhibition of animals at Dolphin Marine Magic is regulated by the Department of Primary Industries under the Exhibited Animals Protection Act 1986. An animal welfare organisation has made a formal complaint to the department alleging Dolphin Marine Magic is non-compliant with standards relating to dolphin management. The department has conducted compliance activities in response to the complaint. I am advised that the animal display establishment complies with all relevant dolphin requirements.

    Hansard link – HERE

  • 10/09/2015: Question Without Notice, Beekeeping

    The Hon. MARK PEARSON: My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Primary Industries. Modern commercial honey production requires bees to be continuously transported around the country to pollinate our crops and provide honey. Studies around the world have shown that bees naturally forage within only a one- to three-kilometre range and when required to constantly adjust to new environments they exhibit physical stress as they are forced to adapt to new micro-climates, landscapes and floral resources. Is the Minister aware of any investigations or research conducted by his department or elsewhere into the effect of stress on honey bees as a result of these practices? This is an important matter.

    The Hon. NIALL BLAIR: The question contained several components so I will answer them in reverse. I will start with the member’s statement that this is an important matter. I can only take from that statement that the member thinks that I would consider that beekeeping, the condition of the bees and our apiarists in New South Wales are not important matters. Nothing could be further from the truth. As I may have said in the House before, when I was at university studying for my horticultural science degree I failed one subject and I had to pick up six more credit points.

    My third year apiculture course did not have an exam, which is probably why I chose it, and it was the best decision. It was a practical subject with a large theory component, and part of that component included the behaviour and life cycle of bees. It is fascinating to study the way bees communicate in the hive, in the colony. One thing I know is that from time to time the bees in a colony decide that it is necessary to find a new location—perhaps the old queen is exhausted and they decide to select a new queen. A new queen is selected, and she may decide to take part of the hive with her. The bees will swarm when the queen sends them out to find a new location. The queen will send out the bees to find a new home for the colony, and they will come back and do a little figure eight dance. Bees communicate to each other how good the new location is by how vigorously they dance. For example, the Hon. Duncan Gay might go out and come back, and the new location is not bad so he does a slightly subdued dance. Then the Hon. John Ajaka goes out and comes back, and does a vigorous dance saying, “Let’s go this way.” The bees will take in what the Hon. John Ajaka says and they will head off to the new site. Bees naturally adapt to movement.

    However, the Hon. Mark Pearson asked me whether I am aware of any studies about apiarists moving their colonies. I declare to the House that beekeeping is something I am introducing at my house to my son. It is a great pastime to get involved in with kids. People must ensure that their beehives are registered with the Department of Primary Industries. It is fantastic to be involved in beekeeping. In answer to the question, I am not aware of any studies. But I am a great fan of bees and beekeeping, and we should all celebrate that.

    The Hon. MARK PEARSON: I ask a supplementary question. I ask the Minister to ensure that the investigation includes the fact that when bees become stressed they become a serious risk to agriculture and cross-pollination. Will the Minister elucidate as to whether that is an eight swing dance or an eighty-eight swing dance?

    The Hon. NIALL BLAIR: I think the first part of the supplementary question was really a statement. As to the second part about the bee dance, it depends on how good the new site is.

    Hansard link – HERE

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