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AG-GAG laws would stop whistleblowers on animal abuse - Senate backs concerns

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 6 Mar 2015

 The Australian Senate has supported a Greens motion that recognises that activist gag laws would shut down scrutiny of animal cruelty.

Australian Greens animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has welcomed the passage of the motion.

“The Senate motion highlights that if ag-gag laws were passed it would be impossible for cases of animal cruelty like the exposure of the many cases of abuse of greyhounds to occur,” Senator Rhiannon said.

The relevant section of the Senate motion states:

“…if the provisions of the Criminal Code Amendment (Animal Protection) Bill 2015 were enacted the program “Making a Killing” could not have been made.”

“This Bill put forward by Liberal Senator Chris Back would punish people who expose cruelty to animals with harsher penalties than what covers those who commit the violence.

“Instead of introducing laws that penalise those who expose animal cruelty, authorities should be working with animal protection groups to clean up cruel practices in the racing industry” said Senator Rhiannon.

The Greens’ motion passed by the Senate also recognises the work of the animal welfare groups and reporters involved in producing the Four Corners ‘Making a Killing’ report, which exposed evidence of extreme animal abuse in the greyhound industry.

“Undercover investigators play an important role in highlighting animal cruelty – the recent work of Animals Australia, Queensland Animal Liberation, and many others on the ABC program is outstanding. These revelations were clearly in the public interest.

“The Greens will continue to oppose any changes to legislation which protects people or companies engaged in practices that cause animal cruelty,” said Senator Rhiannon.

Motion 

The Senate –

1.      

Notes:

a)     

The ABC’s Four Corners program, ‘Making a Killing” aired on 16 February this year, exposed the abhorrent cruelty in parts of the greyhound industry and the horrific use of terrified live animals as live bait to “blood” greyhounds in training;

b)     

The extensive work of Animals Australia, Queensland Animal Liberation, and  many others on this program.

c)      

The entire Board and the CEO of Greyhound Racing NSW have been stood down.

d)     

The Tasmanian parliament will shortly vote on a joint house parliamentary inquiry into Tasmania’s greyhound industry;

e)     

That if the provisions of the Criminal Code Amendment (Animal Protection) Bill 2015 were enacted the program “Making a Killing” could not have been made.

f)      

Self-regulation of the industry is clearly not working

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