• Greyhound

    NSW GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES THE END TO GREYHOUND RACING

    7th July 2016

    MEDIA RELEASE

    NSW Premier Mike Baird has announced that NSW will become the first Australian state to shut down greyhound racing after a Special Commission of Inquiry found overwhelming evidence of systemic animal cruelty, including mass greyhound killings and live baiting.

    This is one of the largest victories for animals in many, many years and both Mark Pearson and the Animal Justice Party congratulate and commend the NSW government for assessing the inquiry findings and listening to the community.

    “This is a great outcome and I believe a huge thank you needs to be given to the animal activists that put their liberties and welfare on the line to expose the barbaric cruelty that was lurking below the surface of this industry. If it was not for the expose ‘Making A Killing’ aired on ABC 4 Corners with undercover footage of live baiting there would not have been an inquiry. This is a testament to these activists and their work, work that has been likened to terrorism by some in the government.”

    The report of the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry in NSW released by Premier Baird documented serious, systemic cruelty and welfare issues. It found that between at least half of all greyhounds bred to race – were killed in the past 12 years because they were deemed ‘uncompetitive’. It went on to state that up to 20 per cent of trainers engage in live baiting and 180 greyhounds a year sustain “catastrophic injuries” during races, such as skull fractures and broken backs that resulted in their immediate deaths. The inquiry noted that the industry was not capable of reforming in the short or medium term.

    “The report finally documented what many among the community knew, and that was that the greyhound racing industry is one based on exploitation and cruelty of the highest order. It is an industry that has no excuses left anymore and is one that is closing down all across the world.

    Further details of the phase out plan will be revealed but what we know is it will include:

    • A welfare plan for existing greyhounds, including opportunities for re-homing;
    • An adjustment package for industry participants; and
    • A transition arrangement for existing Greyhound Racing NSW assets that will ensure they are used for open public space, alternative sporting facilities or other community use.

    Having the Animal Justice Party in NSW Parliament, we can ensure the government will stay true to its words and provide the best re-homing outcomes for the greyhounds. It is critical that the government provide the resources necessary to ensure every single one of the dogs remaining in the industry after the ban be given the best chance to a peaceful post racing life.

    This is a win for the greyhounds, the piglets, possums, chickens and rabbits used as live bait. It is a win for animal activism and animal advocates across the country, this is a win for the broader society. As Mahatma Gandhi stated

    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

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  • MARK PEARSON CALLS ON THE MINISTER FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRIES TO SHUT DOWN KOALA PARK SANCTUARY SYDNEY

    4th February 2016

    The Hon Mark Pearson MLC, is calling on Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair to exercise his Department’s powers to cancel the license of Koala Park Sanctuary and re-home the still suffering animals to rescue sanctuaries. After rejecting requests to protect the animals until the court case was heard, the time has come.

    The case was heard yesterday in Parramatta Local Court, Magistrate Margaret McGlynn fined the park $20,000 and ordered it to pay $2500 courts costs and $52,496.15 for the care of male koala Tassie. Tassie, which, which was taken into care from the park by Taronga Zoo last year, was sadly later put down. However a request to ban the so called sanctuary from getting new koalas was halved from 12 months to just 6.

    The so called sanctuary has a history of neglect since 2010. In November 2015, the owners entered a plea of guilty to three charges of failing to provide veterinary treatment to five koalas in its care.

    Mark Pearson – “This case was heard yesterday in Parramatta Local Court,  a fine was issued and yet justice is still being denied to the animals who suffered, died and are still suffering under the watch of the Koala Park Sanctuary. The fact that this facility can simply gain ‘new’ koalas in 6 months time is appalling and speaks volumes of the huge gaps animals are victims of when it comes to the law and their rights.

    Not long ago I sent a letter and petition with over 25,000 signatures to Niall Blair MLC and Mike Baird to show them that the community are aware of the government’s powers and responsibilities to shut this place down and cancel their license.

    Further to that, Niall Blair confirmed to me in Parliament Question Time that a conviction under POCTAA is grounds for his department to cancel their license. I, the animals and the community expect you to honour this and shut this facility down now.”niall-blair

    Niall Blair, MLC, Minister for Primary Industries

  • MARK PEARSON CALLS PREMIER MIKE BAIRD & MINISTER NIALL BLAIR TO ACT FOR ANIMALS STILL SUFFERING AT KOALA PARK SANCTUARY SYDNEY

    20th January 2016

    Mark Pearson is calling on NSW Premier Mike Baird and Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair to support an online petition with over 25,000 signatures which requests the NSW government to cancel the license of Koala Park Sanctuary in Sydney and re-home the still suffering animals to rescue sanctuaries. The petition was started by a NSW activist and will be sent to the Minister with a supporting letter from Mr Pearson.

    koala-park-sanctuary-sydney-koalaThe so called sanctuary again came under scrutiny in August 2015 after a history of neglect since 2010. In November 2015, Koala Park Sanctuary Sydney located in Pennant Hills entered a plea of guilty to three charges of failing to provide veterinary treatment to five koalas in its care. The charges were laid by the RSPCA and related to the failure to investigate emaciated body condition and eye complaints, and the failure to provide treatment for dehydration and chlamydia infections.

    “I asked the Minister back in November Question Time given the proven breaches of the standards, why has the departmental secretary not exercised his authority under section 30 (1) (a) of the Exhibited Animals Protection Act to cancel the park’s licence? The Department has discretionary powers that should be enacted to protect these animals from further suffering and neglect.

    The park has history, a history the Department of Primary Industries is fully aware of yet the park is still open, the animals still suffering and the owners still profiting. The public are not prepared to sit back and await the outcome of February’s court hearing, they want the Minister and Department to act immediately in the best interests of the animals still residing at Koala Park Sanctuary.”

    See my official MEDIA RELEASE

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    Images courtesy Daily Mail Australia

  • PETITION CALLING FOR AN END TO DOLPHIN CAPTIVITY

    13th January 2016

    In 2015 the AJP put out a petition calling for an end to the captive breeding and keeping of dolphins. The petition requests that the Government cease the granting of permits for the breeding and exhibition of dolphins. It also calls for the release of all dolphins in captivity at Dolphin Marine Magic and that they be rehabilitated for eventual re-homing at an ocean sanctuary.

    The personal story of Bucky, a wild-born dolphin who has been incarcerated in the confines of a small pool for more than 45 years is indefensible and is a stark reminder that Australia has failed non-human animals for too long. Bucky’s story and the passion of his advocates have been the driving force behind this petition and I hope that one day Bucky will swim freely and in peace.

    I am proud to be entrusted with tabling the petition and hope the NSW Government listen to its citizens both human and animal alike.

     

  • OPPOSITION TO CHANGES TO BOXING DAY RETAIL TRADE

    10th November 2015

    Second reading debate.

    Boxing Day retail trade.

    RETAIL TRADING AMENDMENT BILL 2015

    The Hon. MARK PEARSON [9.53 p.m.]: I will be brief in my contribution to debate on the Retail Trading Amendment Bill 2015. When I was travelling along the highway to a court case I noticed a large billboard with words written on it that could be seen by everybody travelling along that highway. The four words written on that billboard were, “Shut up and shop.” That statement underpins the attitude behind this bill. The Animal Justice Party opposes the bill. Over the past few weeks, and as we are speaking in this Chamber, many families have become fractured, dispersed and scattered throughout New South Wales. Children, husbands, wives and partners have had to leave country towns to travel to cities or towns hundreds of kilometres away in order to work. They often work in banking, supermarkets or stores such as David Jones or Myers. These people are all scattered and disconnected from one another.

    They have not been able to enjoy the usual fabric of family life because society requires them to travel long distances in order to work. They are looking forward to and have planned this Christmas Day and Boxing Day to come together and to spend time with one another to talk about their experiences and to nourish their relationships and the love that they feel for one another. They might attend various religious rituals that are dear to them, or maybe no rituals at all, but those two days are crucial to a fundamental principal in our society that gives people who have fondness, love, a sense of protection and goodwill for one another an opportunity to have that experience. These rights have been protected by governments of this State and country, but if this bill is enacted it will immediately corrode, undo and strike down fundamental familial bonds and friendships and the caring and compassionate principles that are celebrated and held dear by our society.

    We cannot allow the corrosion of those principles. This bill will begin that corrosion. It is far more important that these families, children and broken people who have to travel long distances to work for lengthy periods have an opportunity to come together. That is what is in their hearts and minds now and we have no right to strike it down. On only two days out of 4½ days that people who are vulnerable in these situations know they are protected from any aggressive or pushy industry that wants to force them to work against their will out of greed and economic interest. It is unconscionable for anybody to support this bill. It goes against the fundamental fabric and principle of caring that ensures the good structure and fabric of family life, friendship and respect for individuals who want to be free from the burden and task of labour on that day. I condemn this bill.

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