“This is a blatant attempt to control what we know”
Government partners with industry to cover up animal cruelty
Sydney, 25 October 2018: Following an inquiry into unauthorised surveillance and landowner protection, a parliamentary committee report released today reveals the government’s motivation to discredit the work done by private investigators exposing fiercely guarded industry secrets.
Animal Liberation condemns the remarks made in the committee’s report as pandering to the interests of industry, as recommendations promote the chilling advent of thought crimes and the criminalisation of compassion.
“Today is a sad and shameful day in Australian politics,” Animal Liberation spokesperson, Alex Vince, said. “This is a blatant attempt by our government and industry to obstruct public awareness to control what consumers are allowed to know. This inquiry was never about stamping out animal cruelty. It wasn’t even about acknowledging it’s existence. It was always about unduly protecting those who commit it and demonising those who speak out against it”.
The inquiry received submissions from advocacy organisations, state government agencies and industry bodies. A joint report submitted by key media agencies, including SBS, Fairfax, and NewsCorp, concluded that “combatting animal cruelty must be the solution rather than unfairly targeting those who seek to expose it”. The NSW Greens refused to be involved, citing it as an attempt to sneak “Ag-Gag” laws targeting activists “through the back door”.
“In the past year alone this country has seen some of the most shocking, violent, and shameful exposés in recent memory. We’ve seen workers saw the heads off sheep only to kick them around the kill floor like footballs. We’ve seen workers use the decapitated heads of pigs like punching bags. We’ve seen workers hold their legs as they slowly drown to death in boiling hot water. To date, none of these acts have been accounted for. Those animals still await justice. Our government should be protecting them, not those abusing them”.
Animal Liberation has reignited its call for the establishment of an Independent Office of Animal Welfare following the reports release. With the responsibility currently residing with the agency simultaneously tasked with promoting products derived from animal agriculture and an under-resourced charity, the group highlights the conflict of interest ignored in the report.