I just want to take a moment to thank you all for staying with us throughout a very difficult 2020 and to give you a small taste of what you helped us achieve.


Breathing an enormous sigh of relief, we ended the year without the Senate passing a weakening of Australia’s environment laws. HSI supporters have been with us every step of the way on this epic campaign, submitting to Professor Samuel’s review of the laws, senate enquiries and to local MPs and senators. Your efforts paid off because the Senate declined to support the Government’s Bill, instead calling for a full package of reforms, standards and safeguards. HSI will continue to work with our friends at the Places You Love alliance for law reform properly designed to tackle Australia’s extinction crisis. For a full report on the campaign read our latest blog.


As we close the year we also received some good news from Environment Minister Sussan Ley—another of our scientific nomination has secured protection for more than 20,000 hectares of River Flat Eucalypt Forest on the Coastal Plains of NSW, home to platypus, koalas, gliders and pygmy possums.  We hope to bring you more good news once we learn of decisions on nominations for the platypus, koala, sharks, sawfish, Australian sea lions and more threatened habitats to be better protected.


At last, we have got the wool industry talking about the need to move on from painful mulesing. Industry is taking note of the 70 brands and retailers whose commitments to stop sourcing mulesed wool are showcased in our Better Wool Guide, including big names like Country Road, David Jones, Target and Kmart. Our report Towards a Non-Mulesed Future, co-published with FourPaws and written by independent researchers BG Economics, demonstrates that breeding sheep to be fly strike resistant, removing the need for mulesing, has win-win outcomes for wool producers and sheep welfare.  


With Covid-19 and bogus conspiracy theories raging around the world, HSI sent a White Paper with all the scientific evidence linking wildlife trade and zoonotic diseases to 180 governments. We despair if governments don’t make Covid-19 the final nail in the coffin for the deadly wildlife trade. 


We grew our wonderful Wildlife Land Trust to within a hair’s breadth of 700 members which means more than 76,000 hectares of private land devoted to conserving our native wildlife. We also continue to support wildlife carers who are still struggling to care for animals following last summer’s bushfires. Thanks to you we will be much better prepared to save more wildlife when the next disaster strikes.


We also continue to push hard for the permanent removal of shark nets from beaches in NSW and Queensland. There are far more effective non-lethal shark control alternatives available to governments and it is time that we saw an end to the needless death of thousands of marine animals all for a false sense of security.


This is just a small taste of what you have done with us this year (as well as coping with a global pandemic)! Thank you for your caring, your compassion and your strength which keeps us going as we work to make this a better world for animals.


I am already looking forward to that we will do together in 2021 and wish you and your loved ones (human and furry) a very happy, healthy and safe New Year.


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Erica Martin is the CEO of Humane Society International Australia. Erica joined HSI in 2017 after working for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) as the Vice President of Global Communications based in the USA. Prior to that she was the Regional Director for IFAW Asia Pacific, based in Sydney. Erica also has a wealth of experience in government relations having previously worked for the Australian Federal Government as Director of Communications for the then Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts in Canberra.


Images L HSI / N McLachlan |  iStock.com /  LukeWaitPhotography | Shu Ba / shutterstock | Shannon Conway | Rae Harvey

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