• Mark to speak at Wagga Wagga council pound rally

    The community was shocked and appalled when claims of kittens being left to die in freezers at its Wagga council’s Glenfield Road Animal Shelter was exposed. Further claims of dogs  wrongly killed, reports of pets going missing from official records and other animals being left without veterinary care was also documented.

    Volunteers at the pound claim to have found dead and dying cats that had been dumped in freezers while still alive. A Fairfax media investigation found that over the past three years more than 80 dogs and cats had vanished from the pound’s books. RSPCA New South Wales conducted an investigation and found no evidence of wrongdoing.

    The community, volunteers and my office are in shock as to how the RSPCA could not find evidence of cruelty to prosecute. We demand answers. I asked the Minister responsible for animal welfare in NSW, Niall Blair, to please explain. The community deserve answers, these animals deserve justice. The Minister, under section 34B (4) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act has the power to request a report from the RSPCA, to demand answers.

    In response to this inaction from the Council, RSPCA and the Government, a demonstration will be held next Monday at Wagga Council Chambers, we will demand justice. I will be attending this rally to support the concerned community and to speak on behalf of these animals.

    WHEN: Monday 30 May 2016

    TIME: Rally to occur between 4.30pm and 7.30pm (Council Meeting starts at 6.00pm).

    WHERE: Wagga City Council Chambers (Baylis Street) (Parking available at Myers).

  • NSW Animal Justice Party MP Mark Pearson to address local community concerns over the NSW governments plan to wipe out the Brumby

    MEDIA RELEASE

    The Hon Mark Pearson MLC, will be attending a community meeting organised by the Snowy Mountain Brumby Sustainability & Management Group. The meeting will be held this Saturday at the Lake Jindabyne Hotel and will give citizens and groups a chance to voice their concerns over the Baird governments plan to cull up to 90% of the brumby population in the Kosciuszko National Park over the next 20 years.

    The community outrage has been generated by the release of the Draft Plan of Management by Minister for Environment Mark Speakman earlier this month. 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. However, the independent technical review report itself highlights the inadequacy of the science behind the estimated numbers;

    Section 2 of the report states ‘However, the ITRG cannot, at this stage, draw rigorous scientific conclusions about how numbers and population trends are changing over time or how they may differ in different parts of the park’

    Mark Pearson: “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”

    Whilst the Minister has come out on record numerous times both in media statements and in responses to questions asked by Mr Pearson in the Parliament that aerial culling will not be considered, reading the detail of the report tells another story. Section 4.4 states ‘Where lethal control is required, the assessment indicated that aerial shooting had the least potential adverse impact on wild horses’.

    The history of 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 tells a different story. 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 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. This is a very successful method used for the wild horses of the Canadian Rockies and the elephants in Africa. The use of fertility control would also mean that fewer Brumbies would be born each year and result in a proper and sustainable management plan. 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.”

    Mark Pearson is urging everyone who is concerned about this matter to either write to his office or submit comments to the Draft Wild Horse Management Plan for Kosciuszko National Park before 8 July 2016.

  • 21/04/2016: MARK PEARSON EJECTED BY LOCAL NATIONAL MP FROM PUBLIC MEETING ON HUNTING TRESPASS

    When is a public meeting a closed meeting? When Kevin Humphries, Nationals Member for Barwon says so! Animal Justice MP banned from public meeting on stock theft and illegal hunting trespass.

    In February 2016, after months of negative media publicity about the devastating impact of illegal hunting trespass on rural landholders, the Baird Government announced the establishment of the Stock Theft and Trespass Review, to be conduct by the well-respected former Assistant Commissioner of Police, Stephen Bradshaw.

    As the first elected member of the Animal Justice Party to be represented in NSW parliament, I have received a number of calls from distressed landholders, traumatised by illegal hunting trespass on their properties. Landholders are fearful for their own lives as well as describing the carnage left by weekend warriors who blast away at any animal that moves. Dead and dying wildlife and abandoned hunting dogs are often found on their properties.

    It was for this reason that I was keen to attend a public meeting of the Stock Theft and Trespass Review. My staff contacted the Review office as well as Mr Humphries’s staff given his role as host of the Barwon meetings. They sought and were given the details about the upcoming meetings. At no point was I told that I could not attend the public meeting. Meetings were promoted on the Stock Theft and Trespass Review Facebook with “Please come along if you’re in the area”.

    I had already intended to visit Barwon, the largest electorate in NSW (48% of NSW land mass) where Broken Hill is central, in order to address the information that had come to me regarding the disturbing rise in the serious egregious cruelty inflicted on animals in both illegal and legal hunting. I had also organised to meet key animal protection and rescue groups.

    What became apparent was the hostility and defensive resistance from the Nationals member for the electorate, Kevin Humphries who insisted that I leave within several minutes of my arrival at the public meeting in Broken Hill on the 19th April. I was frogmarched out of the meeting by Mr Humphries before I was even able to ask a question. Two police officers appeared by his side, which is a quite extraordinary given the public nature of the meeting and fact that I am a democratically elected representative of the people of NSW.

    I was not given the opportunity to raise my concerns regarding the brutality of hunting and its increased incidence on private property and how this terrifies land owners as well as terrifying, maiming and killing animals. It appears this National party member wants to obstruct any constructive discussion to address the growing violent culture of killing animals for sick enjoyment which in turn frightens property owners where these animals live or move through.

    This attitude by the National Member for Barwon is completely unacceptable and indefensible.

    I refuse to be shut out of addressing this appalling situation and I will return in several months to address a public meeting where police, rangers and regulatory authorities will be invited to attend. I will also be meeting with animal rescue and carer groups and with Indigenous elders.

    My aim is to lobby for a proactive Task Force to address this issue in this region and for a pilot task force to be established in other regions of NSW where this violent culture has developed.

    See the response from MP Kevin Humphries in the media via the links below.

    ABC News

    The Land

  • 18/04/2016: Mark Pearson to visit Broken Hill to discuss the issue of illegal hunting and trespass

    The Hon Mark Pearson, MLC for the Animal Justice Party is visiting Broken Hill on the 18 and 19th April to attend the Stock Theft and Trespass Review public meeting to participate in a discussion about the problem of illegal hunting and theft on rural properties.

    “My office regularly receives calls from distressed landholders who are horrified by the carnage they find on their properties after a weekend spree by illegal hunters. Dead and dying wildlife, abandoned and injured pig dogs and even butchered wild pigs left at waterholes are not unusual finds. I am hopeful that the Review will be able to address this issue and I for one would be very supportive of more resources for rural crime investigators.”

    As a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Companion Animal Breeding Practices, Mark will also take the opportunity to visit the Council Pound to see for himself the number of abandoned animals as a result of over-breeding.

    “In regards to the numbers of unwanted animals that end up in pounds, I was very disappointed in the Government’s response to the Companion Animal Breeding Practices Committee which rejected the vast majority of the recommendations of the bipartisan report. We cannot continue to kill thousands of unwanted but perfectly healthy dogs and cats and call ourselves a civilised and humane society. Mandatory de-sexing, licencing for breeders and extending animal protection policing to rangers are just a few of the sensible reforms that should have been made.”

    He is also keen to talk with locals about the forthcoming Kangaroo Management Plan given the large commercial hunting industry based in Broken Hill.

    “Australia conducts the largest land-based wildlife slaughter in the world with it’s annual mass killing of kangaroos. No other country slaughters it’s national icon in such numbers.”

    mark-pearson-kangaroo-report-at-home

  • 06/04/2016: Voiceless Rethinking: Kangaroos

    Last night I was privileged to be a panelist on the Voiceless Rethinking: Kangaroos seminar. The seminar was a great success and brought together the different perspectives of kangaroo suffering and slaughter across Australia.

    The kangaroo is the victim of the largest slaughter of land-based mammals on the planet.

    While similar wildlife trades, such as the Canadian seal hunt or the Japanese whaling industry, attract global condemnation due to their brutality, the kangaroo hunt is unchallenged.

    I spoke about how Australian governments promote, financially support and even actively participate in the brutal killing of the kangaroo.I also raised through my long standing relationship with Indigenous groups how the kangaroo or Malu is a sacred Aboriginal totem and the mass killing is an insult to the Aboriginal people.

    Below is an photo courtesy of Voiceless. Please make the pledge to protect our kangaroos.

    mark-pearson-kangaroos-voiceless-seminar-rethinking

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