• Lynda Stoner, NSW candidate for Federal Senate, and The Hon. Mark Pearson NSW MLC overwhelmingly support same-sex marriage

    MEDIA RELEASE

    Lynda Stoner, NSW candidate for Federal Senate, and The Hon. Mark Pearson NSW MLC overwhelmingly support same-sex marriage.

    Lynda Stoner, long standing supporter of the gay community, and Mark Pearson, elected member to the NSW Parliament and openly gay, have shared their shock and disappointment regarding comments made by Tony Hulbert, former Animal Justice Party candidate for Menzies (Victoria). Mr Hulbert’s point of view is completely opposed to the Animal Justice Party’s ethos of compassion, inclusiveness and a better life for all. As of this morning Mr Hulbert has officially resigned as a candidate, this is the best outcome in this situation.

    Mark Pearson has spoken strongly in support of marriage equality and LGBTI recognition and rights before being elected to the NSW Legislative Council and more recently as an elected member.

    Mark Pearson: “I have been openly gay since I came out in a Catholic High School over 40 years ago and ‘naturally’ gay since I was conceived.

    If any two people seek to be married under any creed or institution then that right must never be denied by any civilised society. This inclusive and respectful position would only be natural to a compassionate and wise candidate or member of parliament.”

    Lynda Stoner is a long-standing champion for animal rights and marriage equality, and as such is against discrimination and marginalisation of any kind. Lynda was one of the driving forces behind Animal Liberation’s participation in Sydney’s Mardi Gras. Animal Liberation has participated in this celebration of inclusivity for over a decade, with creative floats highlighting the suffering of animals and the diversity of the LGBTI community.

    Lynda Stoner: “For decades I have celebrated diversity in our communities and culture through art and activism. I will continue with that spirit of compassion and advocacy through the political system irrespective of what any ignorant candidate or member of any Party states.”

  • First state-wide ban on animal circuses in Australia proposed by Mark Pearson and Alex Greenwich, Independent MP for Sydney

    MEDIA RELEASE

    Today the Hon. Mark Pearson from the Animal Justice Party informed the NSW Legislative Council of his intent to introduce a bill to ban circuses from using animals in NSW. The bill will seek to amend the Exhibited Animals Protection Act 1986 to prohibit the exhibition of specified animals in connection with a circus, amusement park, fair or similar place of entertainment. The bill is co sponsored by Alex Greenwich, Independent MP for Sydney.

    The ACT has banned circuses using certain species of wild animals since 1992. Other jurisdictions around the world have banned wild animal circuses, including countries such as Peru, El Salvador, Bolivia, Paraguay, Colombia, Cyprus, Netherlands and Greece.

    In NSW several local Councils have banned animal circuses from performing on Council land.

    Mark Pearson: “The problem with leaving the bans to local Councils is that they can only ban the circuses from setting up on Council land. So you have the local authority representing the community banning these circuses out of concern for the animals, but then they bring in their lions and monkeys and buffalos anyway and just set up their cages on private land. That’s why we need a ban at the State level, and enshrined in legislation.
    If passed, this bill will set the benchmark for the rest of the country. We know that across the border in the ACT lions and bears and giraffes can’t be used in circuses. But we think NSW should go further and ban other animals from being subjected to a life of demeaning circus tricks and being carted around the State in tiny cages. Circuses will still be able to have their pets with them, but that’s about it.”

    What’s wrong with animals in circuses?

    Training regimes and performances force circus animals to engage in unnatural behaviour merely in the name of ‘entertainment’. When not ‘performing’ these animals are denied the opportunity to roam freely, form complex social groups, and manage their surroundings. The lack of stimulation leads the animals to exhibit repetitive behaviours such as pacing and swaying. These behaviours indicate stress, anxiousness and lethargy.

    Alex Greenwich: “Forcing animals to undergo a lifetime of travelling long distances, trapped in tiny cages while exposed to constant changing weather conditions and subjecting them to harsh training regimes so they can do tricks on command is a cruel and archaic form of entertainment. Making wild and non-domestic animals perform unnatural stunts is fast becoming unacceptable in society and it’s time the Parliament put an end to this cruelty.”

    An hour of entertainment for the audience means a lifetime of imprisonment and misery for the animals. Animals performing in circuses are a relic of less enlightened times and have no part in a modern, compassionate state such as NSW

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    Image courtesy of Animal Liberation ACT

  • Brumby update-Mark to call for a legislative review of the Draft Plan of Management

    Mark and his office are utterly appalled at the governments decision to slaughter the Brumby. Having reviewed the reports, the Draft plan of Management and other statements from the Minister for Environment it is apparent that there is NO justification for this slaughter. The draft plan and associated technical review proposes a range of control methods to reduce the population from the estimated 6000 down to 600 over the next 20 years. The so called science and  independent technical review  is so utterly flawed that there is no other option but place this decision and the reasoning behind it under the proper legislative scrutiny.

    Reading the report 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 advised killing methods in the report again seem to be contradictory of community expectations and common sense. The assertion that fertility control measures are ineffective and the glowing endorsement in the 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. How could any of us forget the infamous aerial cull, reminiscent of a brutal Rambo operation by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) in the Guy Fawkes River National Park in October 2000? Terrified horses were driven up against an escarpment by a helicopter as shooters opened fire with semi-automatic rifles, slaughtering more than 600 horses. The slaughter scene depicted horses riddled with bullets suffering slow, agonising deaths. One mare was shot while giving birth whilst new born foals were left to starve because their mothers had been killed.

    Mark and his office attended a public community forum in Jindabyne on Saturday 21st of May, the meeting was organised by the Snowy Mountain Brumby Sustainability & Management Group Inc. The meeting was well attended with over 70 with visitors from all areas including Gundagai, Tumut, Tumbarumba, Grenfell, Newcastle, Talbingo, Cooma and the Jindabyne region. Mark addressed the meeting and spoke of his disgust that the government was hell bent on wiping out the Brumby based on bad science, invalid population estimates and the lack of genuine community engagement on the issue. Amongst other sensible resolutions proposed and supported at the meeting Mark proposed a resolution of his own which was adopted unanimously, this being;

    ‘To support that the Draft Plan of Management and brumby management in NSW generally be referred to relevant Legislative Council Standing Committee (GSC5) for detailed review and to call on the local member and National party to support this review’

    On Thursday 26th of May Mark was lucky enough to have a personal visit of the Hunter Valley Brumby Association’s sanctuary. Mark witnessed first hand the great work HVBA is doing to protect, educate and save the Brumby. The HVBA team is a great example of a professional, passionate and experienced advocacy group that rescues and re-homes Brumbies. A big thank you to Kath Massey and Madison Young for allowing us to see first hand the care and love the team has for these animals, it was a truly great experience.

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    Madison Young, Vice President of the Hunter Valley Brumby Assoc, Mack and Mark

    Mark Pearson: “It seems we have not learnt from our past mistakes, killing is NOT the answer. I acknowledge that humane management is not a quick fix one size fits all solution. However it is our duty to ensure that we invest and utilise best practice and sound methods of estimating and reporting the true population numbers. Where required, fertility control is to be used and in parallel we must invest in fertility control via humane research and development. Mass slaughter does not equal management and until governments realise this it is likely that the continuous cycle of killing and responsive population growth will continue.”

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    Mark with Guy Fawkes Brumby Diesel

  • 16/03/2016: Notice of Motion condemning the Catholic Church

    On Wednesday the 16th of March, Mark gave notice of a motion to condemn the Roman Catholic Church in Australia for its abject failure to protect children from sexual abuse. This motion is very dear to Mark’s heart and our core belief that he will be a voice for the vulnerable, this is a duty we take seriously, not just for animals but people also. When we allow the wrong doings to go unabated in our society, we become complicate in them.

    See the full Notice of Motion HERE

    Watch the video below:

  • 15/03/2016: Debate speech in opposition to anti-protest bill

    I oppose the Inclosed Lands, Crimes and Law Enforcement Legislation Amendment (Interference) Bill 2016. It is rather ironic that only last month the Government was giving an apology to the 78ers who were dealt with extremely severely for peacefully protesting. At the age of 19, I was one of those 78ers. Thirty-eight years ago the government of the day gave a directive to police to deal with people who were protesting against extremely draconian laws. We are in a similar situation today. This bill is one of the most draconian pieces of legislation I have seen. It is taking us back to the Joh Bjelke-Petersen era in Queensland.

    People who protested in the streets in 1978 opposed legislation under which they would be locked up purely because of their strong point of view or particular state of being and sexuality. They were treated so appallingly that 38 years later the Government has apologised to them and acknowledged respect for the changes they brought to society. It will not be very long before the same thing happens again if this bill becomes law. In Queensland in the 1970s and 1980s street marches always seemed to begin in King George Square outside Brisbane City Hall. King George Square was the crucible for the city’s social disquiet and ferment, where thousands of protesters once risked the batons of Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s police force over issues as diverse as the Vietnam War, the Springbok rugby tour, Aboriginal issues, nuclear disarmament and the right to protest.

    This bill strikes the same chord of oppression of people’s free will and capacity to speak up and oppose instruments of harm.

    It is true that activists have been known to go into intensive livestock industry operations or abattoirs and “lock on” when all other avenues to try to bring change for the animals have been exhausted. It is not as though that protesting is flippant or reckless conduct. When all other avenues are pursued to finality and harm of whatever nature has not been stopped people are compelled out of utter frustration to risk their personal liberties. That has been an instrument of protest for hundreds of years. Protests for the rights of women, children, workers and slaves have been referred to in this debate. We cannot strike out the fundamental principle of people’s right to protect beings and the environment from harm. A perfect example is our desire to stop sows being kept in stalls where they cannot turn around but can only step forwards or backwards for almost their entire lives.

    Another example is the protest to prevent hens living their whole lives in cages two-thirds the size of an A4 sheet of paper. In a recent protest against the gas stunning of pigs activists stopped animals being delivered to gas chambers where it took them up to one minute to die from asphyxiation because of the gassing mechanisms. Those protests are held out of frustration because harm is happening and the people who are trying to help and bring about change have exhausted all other interventions and avenues available to them.

    The Government is facing one of the most extraordinary historical situations in Australia—namely, activists are standing beside farmers and people working in towns. For those reasons the Animal Justice Party must oppose and condemn this bill.

    Read the full speech HERE

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