Australian Greens Senator and Spokesperson for Animal Welfare, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, has condemned the Government passing the Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill 2019 through the House of Representatives. The Bill is likely to be considered by the Senate at the next sitting in September.
Senator Faruqi said:
“The Greens will not be party to the passing of laws that will silence protest and jail animal welfare investigators and activists. Trespass and incitement are already offences, it’s clear these new extreme laws are just about targeting those who expose animal cruelty’
“This is a dressed up anti-protest and ag gag bill that takes us further down the road to a police state. This is just the latest bill in a long line of legislation designed to protect big agribusiness from scrutiny and transparency. It is designed to stop the public from using their democratic right to protest.
“People do not have faith in the animal welfare compliance mechanisms in this country. Unenforceable guidelines for the protection of farm animals are completely inadequate. We should be debating national animal cruelty laws with real accountability and enforcement to protect farm animals.
“Australia really is in the dark ages when it comes to animal welfare. New Zealand has already banned mulesing and the European Union has banned battery cages. Sow stalls are banned in the United Kingdom. While many, particularly small farms in Australia don’t use these cruel practices, many still do, especially industrial factory farms.
“Rather than improving animal welfare laws and practices, this Government is obsessed with attacking those that expose horrific mistreatment of animals. They are on the wrong side of history,” she concluded.