• 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.

    mark-pearson-animal-justice-party-brumby-huntervalley brumby-association-3

    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

  • 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).

  • Marianne Thieme of the Party for the Animals talks with Mark Pearson of the Animal Justice Party

    Marianne Thieme’s during her visit to Australia as a part of a national animal law lecture series kindly made time to catch up with her Australian counterpart, Mark Pearson.
    Marianne and the success of Part for the Animals has laid the foundation for animals in politics and is a proud supporter of the Animal Justice Party.
    The shift is happening and great positive change is occurring evident by the growth in political parties across the world which focus on an animal protection platform.
    Please excuse the background noise, this was a spur of the moment video post vegan lunch 🙂

     

  • Question Without Notice-Cats dying in freezers at NSW pound

    The Hon. MARK PEARSON: I direct my question to the Minister for Primary Industries, and Minister for Lands and Water. On 3 April, the Sydney Morning Herald reported allegations of aggravated animal cruelty at Wagga Wagga pound. 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 that would lead to convictions under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

    Will the Minister exercise his powers under section 34B (4) of that Act to request a report from the RSPCA providing the reasons for the decision and table that report in the House? If not, why not?

    The Hon. NIALL BLAIR: I remember reading that article about Wagga Wagga pound. I will take the question on notice and provide a relevant response. It has been some time since it was published, and I want to refresh my memory of the details.

    UPDATED ANSWER PROVIDED BY THE MINISTER: As one of the enforcement agencies under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979, RSPCA NSW has advised that it has investigated complaints about Wagga Wagga Pound and does not intend to commence proceedings. RSPCA has advised it is working with the pound regarding animal welfare.
    Records of surrendered or stray animals kept in Council pounds are not covered by a Code of Practice under POCTA, they are regulated under the Companion Animals Act 1998 administered by the Office of Local Government.

  • Mark defends the Brumby in heartfelt Adjournment speech

    The Brumby holds a special place in the Australian psyche, personifying the Australian courage and spirit of freedom. Yet, today, just like the kangaroo, they face an uncertain future, considered by some, including this government to be feral pests. They find themselves becoming increasingly marginalised in lands that have been their home for over a century. A home thrust upon them when early European settlers found little need for them with the onset of farm machinery and released them into the wild, left to survive. It is this survival that spawned a time when only the toughest survived, natural selection saw the evolution of wild horses with the traits required to thrive in the environment in which they found themselves.

    The Brumby has gallantly served human, toiling on farms as stock animals, building the roads and railways we relied upon, even serving as police horses enforcing the law of the bush. They accompanied men to war, with over 70,000 horses losing their lives in World War I alone.

    In October 2000, the slaughter of over 600 brumbies in the Guy Fawkes River National Park sparked widespread public outcry and national media attention. In response to this atrocity an inquiry was conducted which revealed numerous failings of the National Parks and Wildlife Service in their role in the mass slaughter.

    Yet it seems we have not learnt from our past mistakes, killing is NOT the answer. All of the so-called “feral” animals were brought to Australia by human beings. We brought the horse here not out of love but out of the notion that they would provide us with something useful. We exploited them and then when they weren’t needed we disposed of them like mere objects and sent them on their way into the wild bush, Wanted Yesterday, Unwanted Today. They survived and adapted like any other being on this planet and yet some continue to persecute them and if this government gets its way decimate their existence to such a degree that their heritage and bloodlines will be threatened.

    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 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.

    Passive trapping and rehoming programs aim to capture horses with minimal interference from humans and released to suitable rehoming groups. Whilst strict adherence to best practice and horsemanship is critical to the success of such programs, this is another non-lethal strategy that both reduce numbers in the wild whilst maintaining the cultural heritage and significance of the brumby. The Hunter Valley Brumby Association is one such group which to date has taken on over 50 brumbies to their sanctuary, 30 of these have come from the Kozciuszko National Park.

    In closing, I challenge the persistent notion and labelling of “feral” animals. These animals are not feral; rather, they are wild, untamed survivors of humans’ past failings. I once asked an Indigenous elder, “So what do you think makes an animal a native Australian?” He replied, “When it is born here.”

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