MEDIA RELEASE: : Animal Justice MP labels Nationals “Neanderthals” and calls on the Premier to remove John Barilaro and Adam Marshall from their offices over lack of action on animal protection

In a motion given to Upper House on Wednesday (June 23), MP for the Animal Justice Party Mark Pearson called on Premier Gladys Berejiklian to remove Nationals MP’s John Barilaro and Adam Marshall from their office over their disregard of animal sentience.

“The New South Wales people, animals and the environment deserve better than the Neanderthals in the National Party that block every sensible reform,” Mr Pearson said in his speech to the motion.


“They hold a retrograde view of animals more suited to the Cartesian thinking of the middle-ages than the scientific understanding of animal capabilities in the 21st Century.”


Mr Pearson raised particular issues with Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional New South Wales, Industry and Trade, John Barilaro, and Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall.


“Not content with the regressive action of overturning the greyhound racing ban, The Hon John Barilaro then proceeded to take koala conservation back more than twenty-five years, thwarting the reformist efforts of his colleague the Hon Matt Kean,” Mr Pearson said.


“The Minister for Agriculture, the Hon Adam Marshall, should be dismissed for failing to support even the most minimalist of animal protection initiatives.   Surely in 2021 it is absolutely basic to legislate for mandatory pain relief for farmed animal procedures such as castration and mulesing, to ban puppy farming and to end the use of battery cages.”

The Upper House divided equally on a vote of 16 ayes and 16 noes before the President of the Legislative Council Matthew Mason-Cox who gave his casting vote to defeat the motion.


The motion received the support of Labor, and on the provision of an amendment, the Greens.


The motion can be read in full below, with the full text of Mr Pearson’s accompanying speech available on request

Media contact:
Elena Wewer – 0428 444 132



  1. Mr Pearson to move—


(1) That this House congratulates the British government for committing to:


(a) make the United Kingdom a world leader in animal protection,


(b) introduce an Animal Sentience Bill that recognises the sentience of animals by enshrining in law that animals:

(i) are aware of their feelings and emotions,

(ii) can experience joy and pleasure, as well as pain and suffering,


(c) make the Animal Sentience Bill the centre-piece of the Queen’s Speech in parliament, and

(d) end the live export of animals.


(2) That this House calls upon the Government to follow the United Kingdom’s lead by including the recognition of animal sentience in their proposed new animal protection laws.


(3) That this House advises the Premier, the Honourable Gladys Berejiklian that she would be far more likely to reach the visionary and compassionate standard of the Queen if she were to remove the Deputy Premier, the Honourable John Barilaro