The parliament rose last Thursday for the year, so now is a good time to update you on Lee’s most recent parliamentary animal work. It has been a busy year - you can catch up with the extensive work she’s done through the year here: https://lee-rhiannon.greensmps.org.au/portfolios/animal-welfare
Attached are some of the answers received recently to Lee’s Questions on Notice about animal welfare. We are waiting on more responses to Lee’s questions.
Here’s a snapshot of the very latest in preparation for 2018:
We’re on the cusp of making Australian animal welfare history with a ban on animal-tested cosmetics. The bill was listed for debate this Wednesday afternoon but was pulled from the Notice Paper by the Turnbull government. It will be debated next year.
Lee is very pleased to have worked with our NGOs to bring the cruel cosmetics ban to this point. Her 2014 End Cruel Cosmetics Bill magnified the existing campaign by NGOs and put the issue firmly on the political table. Work with HSI and Be Cruelty Free has continued behind the scenes, with the result that Lee has pulled together a partnership of cross-party Senators to co-sponsor amendments that definitively ban animal-tested cosmetics in Australia by closing a major loophole in the bill.
But it’s complicated. You can read a simplified explanation here, but the upshot is that there are two sets of amendments the Senate needs to pass for human and environment health and safety, and for cruel cosmetics.
Lee is inviting your networks to urge their MPs to support both sets of amendments. We are so close …
Lee describes Australia’s government facilitation of the shooting of kangaroos as Australia’s grubby secret.
An important international documentary Kangaroo, The Movie will be out in the new year. Our office has assisted the producers and Lee appeared at the Annual Animal Activist Forum with one of the producers. The trailer of the documentary is now out. Lee appears in this powerful film which looks at the myths and messaging that feed the political and social license for the largest commercial slaughter of terrestrial wildlife on the planet.
Lee has been working on this issue for over a decade. She has asked around 100 Senate Estimates questions, and worked on the successful Californian ban. Lee has also established the Kangaroo Roundtable which pulls together NGOs committed to protecting our iconic species.
We are urging everyone to share and promote this powerful film, using the hashtag #kangaroothemovie. It is being released in the US in January next year and Lee will be hosting a screening of the film that we hope you will be able to attend early in 2018. You can access cited facts about kangaroos here: www.kangaroosatrisk.org
Lee cosponsored a motion with Senators Hinch and Singh condemning the horrific cruelty in a Victorian poultry slaughterhouse, and calling for CCTV in all abattoirs. The motion didn’t pass.
But with that cruelty in mind we can take action …
Public comment called for draft national poultry standards
Public comment has been called re the draft national poultry standards. Lee is urging submissions to the public consultation process, and to our state Premiers and Agriculture Ministers who will be signing off on the guidelines.
Submissions close 26 February 2018. The government website is here: http://www.animalwelfarestandards.net.au/poultry/poultry-public-consultation/
With the poultry industries funding and running the drafting process, Lee has likened the process to putting the fox in charge of the henhouse. She has condemned the draft standards and guidelines as inexcusable because they entrench the existing inhumane conditions to which over 700 million animals are subjected, including caged battery hens, beak trimming and inhumane conditions.
Horses and donkeys
Lee’s bill to definitively ban the live export of equines has been put on hold until the new year.
We felt the issue would be lost in the chaos of the last weeks of parliament. An early 2018 introduction of the bill will also allow for NGOs to prepare campaign materials and participate in a press conference. We will keep you posted.
Australian greyhounds are still ending up in the infamously cruel Calidrome track in Macau China. Lee is working with HSI looking at options for implementing a legislative ban on this horrific outcome.
You can find a summary of the standards and guidelines, and recommendations at the RSPCA’s campaign page: https://www.rspca.org.au/campaigns/end-the-battery-cage-public-consultation/formal-submission
Meat, animal welfare and climate change
Last week Lee made an adjournment speech about eating meat and its effect on animal welfare, human health and the future of the planet. You might be aware that Lee has been vegan for decades now, and has usually considered this as a private choice. However the damage done by humans’ addiction to eating other animals is too serious to not talk about.
You can read or listen to her speech here: https://greensmps.org.au/articles/adjournment-speech-climate-change-and-meat-consumption
There is so much more, and we look forward to working with you in the new year and beyond, providing a voice for the animals whose wellbeing is dependent on our care.