The charging last week of two animal rights activists for break-ins at pig farms across NSW in 2013 is another example of the misguided punishments meted out against those seeking to expose systemic animal abuse, says Greens spokesperson for Animal Welfare Senator Lee Rhiannon.
"Once again those seeking to expose animal cruelty have been punished while the industries and individuals guilty of malicious animal cruelty get off scot free," Senator Rhiannon said.
"Animal activists and whistleblowers would not feel compelled to trespass and engage in other illegal activities if there was adequate government monitoring of these industries. Alas, there is very little.
"We will see more of this under Senator Chris Back's ag-gag bill, which will mete out tougher penalties for those exposing animal cruelty.
"Senator Back's bill will punish those exposing animal cruelty, but not those engaging in animal cruelty.
"Similar ag gag laws in the US are a blatant attempt to obstruct the whistleblowing process, and divert attention away from the cruelty of the industry itself.
"We must stop protecting industries and individuals that profit off the abuse of animals.
"If it were not for the courageous efforts of animal activists and whistleblowers, we would be blind to the systemic abuse of animals in these industries.
"I congratulate all those who commit to documenting the needless cruelty perpetrated against animals in the absence of proper monitoring and regulation by governments," Senator Rhiannon said.