• Time to stop the greyhound industry

    18/11/2015: Debate speech in opposition to the Betting Tax Legislation Amendment Bill 2015

    The passage of this bill will mean that we continue to be captured by an industry that is fundamentally flawed and has systemic problems of abuse of human rights, protections and dignity, and those of animals. Each day in Parliament members say that they are here to stand up for the welfare of the people of New South Wales and Australia. The industry of gambling captures and destroys the lives of many people and also destroys the lives of their families and friends.

    It came as a great shock earlier this year when it was discovered that there was not just one bad apple in the greyhound industry. The commission of inquiry into the greyhound industry has shown that live baiting and other brutal, appalling treatments of rabbits, possums, cats and piglets are systemic. It is not just one bad apple, one bad operator or one bad training track; it is systemic. It is a cart of rotten apples. This Government and members of this House should not be captured by an industry that uses animals in racing, because ultimately it is an industry that is all about abuse: abuse of the people who bet and of their families and friends; abuse of society; and abuse of the silent ones, the millions of animals through time that have suffered appallingly within this industry. For these reasons, the Animal Justice Party cannot support this bill. I indicate that if the bill passes the second reading I will be proposing to move an amendment at the Committee stage.

    Read the full speech HERE

  • Time to stop the greyhound industry

    26/08/2015: Debate speech in support of the disallowance motion of the Racing Administration Amendment (Race Field Information Fees) Regulation 2015

    A government of either persuasion should never support an industry that can only thrive and flourish on the backs of people suffering from psychological problems that cause suffering and a great deal of hardship for their families, friends and the community. A large proportion of the community who gamble are not people who gamble from time to time or for weekend recreation; they are people who are addicted and consumed by that addiction. These people pour a lot of money and income into the racing industry.

    The Animal Justice Party is concerned for the animals. The racing industry is driven to make as much money as possible from not only gamblers but also animals. Horses are overbred. These animals are whipped in every race. If any member of this House were to whip their dog in the street in the way that horses are whipped in every race, they would be prosecuted and sent to prison. The racing industry allows the abuse of animals. Abuse of an animal by whipping it is permitted in a race to drive the animal to run faster and to win, for financial gain. The racing industry has a very sinister side to it. It allows abuse of animals that in any other circumstance would cause a person to be brought before the courts and dealt with severely.

    Police investigators and the RSPCA are currently searching for and digging up the graves of former racing greyhounds all over the country. They are investigating claims of animals being tortured in the process of live baiting, which was a systemic practice in the greyhound racing industry. It is probably still occurring but has been driven underground. No matter the contribution an industry makes to the community, the Government should not support it if it engages in animal cruelty.

    Read the full speech HERE

  • 12/08/2015: Adjournment speech on animal research in NSW

    Although the Animal Research Act of New South Wales stipulates that all animal research should be based on the three R’s—reduction, replacement and refinement—in theory it aims at minimising the use of animals in research.

    However, animal testing has created a multibillion dollar industry, encompassing the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, and university and government bodies. There is also a significant industry that manufactures cages and restraints. Humane Research Australia has identified that the trend over the past decade has been an increase rather than a decrease in animal testing. In 2013, in New South Wales 2,699,532 animals were used for research including more than 2,000 cats and dogs and 272,000 sheep. Of these, 0.53 per cent were in the “death as end point” category. The aim of experiments in this category requires the animals to die unassisted—that is, not euthanized, as death is “a critical measure of the experimental treatment”

    Read the full speech HERE

  • 22/10/2015: Question Without Notice, Animal Welfare Advisory Committee

    The Hon. MARK PEARSON: My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Primary Industries, and Minister for Lands and Water. The Animal Welfare Advisory Committee [AWAC] was established more than 20 years ago by the Minister for Agriculture of the time, the Hon. Ian Armstrong. It was established to ensure input into primary industry practices by a broad range of animal protection groups. Since its inception AWAC membership has included representation from the RSPCA, the Animal Welfare League and the Animal Societies Federation. I ask, first, can the Minister confirm that his predecessor did not advise the Animal Societies Federation to nominate for a position on AWAC when the previous committee term expired more than 12 months ago? Second, given that the Animal Societies Federation represents the majority of animal protection groups in New South Wales, can the Minister advise— [Time expired.]

    The Hon. NIALL BLAIR: Obviously it is difficult to answer an incomplete question. The Animal Welfare Advisory Council [AWAC] is an important tool that this Government appreciates. Since becoming Minister I have taken the necessary steps through my department to reconstitute that committee. I look forward to the meetings of the newly formed AWAC about the types of issues it will be challenging and about which it will provide advice to me and the Government in the future.

    The Hon. MARK PEARSON: I ask a supplementary question. Will the Minister seek nomination from the Animal Societies Federation (New South Wales) for the Animal Welfare Advisory Council?
    The Hon. Rick Colless: Point of order: I submit that that is a completely new question. Therefore, it is out of order.

    The PRESIDENT: Order! It is necessary for members to seek an elucidation of an answer given in their supplementary questions. As I was distracted by another matter and did not hear the whole question, I will give the member the benefit of the doubt on this occasion only.

    The Hon. NIALL BLAIR: The Animal Welfare Advisory Council has been reconstituted. As Minister I have confidence that the members of the council are able to provide the right advice to me and bring expertise from the different stakeholder groups on issues of animal welfare. I look forward to their advice on particular issues. I will continue to do what is prudent and monitor the make-up of that council to make sure that it is reflective and responsive to the issues that it looks into. I will keep a watching eye over the council. If issues need to be tackled I am sure the council members who are representative of the relevant organisations are more than capable of doing so.

    Hansard link – HERE

  • 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

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