Lodged to the Australian Senate by Senator Rhiannon (from 5,005 citizens)
To the Honourable President and members of the Senate in Parliament assembled:
As a supporter of In Defense of Animals, an animal protection organization with over 200,000 supporters, and a person concerned about social justice, we oppose the 'Criminal Code Amendment (Animal Protection) Bill 2015' which is not an animal protection bill at all.
Investigations by animal activists and animal protection groups are virtually the only means of detecting animal cruelty within animal industries. Preventing activist investigations will limit the public's ability to be informed of matters of public interest, and significantly diminish the constitutionally implied freedom of political communication.
We are deeply concerned about the recent passing of the 2015 NSW Biosecurity Act which is an excessive effort to criminalize whistleblowing. The Animal Protection Bill 2015 is no different, only that instead of just one state, it aims to silence concerned Australians on a national scale.
Present efforts at monitoring and enforcing compliance with animal protection laws are inadequate, resulting in an over-reliance on undercover investigations to expose horrific acts of animal cruelty.
Without the evidence that undercover video provides, the worst abuses committed by the animal agriculture industry would go unseen and unpunished.
The Criminal Code Amendment (Animal Protection) Bill 2015 is a clear attempt by animal agriculture interests to suppress exposure of severe animal abuse. If the animal agriculture industry is not responsible for any wrongdoing and has nothing to hide, it should not be concerned about undercover investigations.
Our petitioners ask that the Senate oppose the Criminal Code Amendment (Animal Protection) Bill 2015.