Major parties turn their backs on animal welfare ahead of NSW election
Sydney: Humane Society International (HSI) Director Verna Simpson said today that “The Australian public, a nation of animal lovers, have voiced their growing concerns over animal welfare, yet alarmingly both major parties have failed to offer any animal welfare policies in the lead up to the NSW Election. They don’t even seem to have learned anything in face of the ongoing and startling revelations about live animals being used as bait in the greyhound racing industry, an industry which receives millions of taxpayers’ dollars.”
This week HSI contacted both the NSW Labor Party and Liberal Party offices to seek information on their pre-election animal welfare policies, but it became abundantly clear that neither party had any animal welfare policies and were not about to issue any such policies. This is an appalling and indefensible situation.
It’s now commonplace to learn of horrific animal abuse in our daily newspapers and on our television screens. Time and time again, we are subjected to images of misery and cruelty to animals, be it cattle in the hands of the live export industry, dogs and puppies living in squalor in puppy farms, hens unable to stand in battery cages, or pigs confined so tightly they can barely move in Australia’s intensive piggeries. There have also been an unprecedented number of public responses to matters of animal cruelty, demonstrating voters’ concerns on these issues.
Verna Simpson, continued “Confronted with such a daily onslaught of animal welfare disasters, it is absolutely incomprehensible that neither Labor nor Liberal Parties have stepped up to the plate on this critical public issue. The need for our major political parties to take the lead and offer effective protection to all farm animals and domestic animals is stronger than ever before.”
Ms Simpson concluded “HSI strongly advocates the need for the establishment of an Independent Office of Animal Welfare in NSW. This Office would sit outside the agriculture portfolio, dedicated to animal welfare policy, science and law. In the current set-up, decisions involving animal welfare have inherently favoured economic gain, resulting in animal welfare tragedies time after time.
We now call upon the leaders of both major political parties to immediately announce what it is they plan to do to ensure that animal welfare regulations and laws in this state are fully adequate to meet the increasing and future needs of animals used for financial gain in NSW.”