The Greens are the only party to give animal welfare issues the primacy they ought to have, particularly in this increasingly industrialised and globalised world. We are committed to ending all intensive agricultural practices involving livestock and to ensuring that consumers begin to receive more balanced information about the processes involved in the animal products they buy. Animals must be humanely treated.
We will continue to work to end duck shooting, puppy factories and jumps racing.
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- I am pleased to speak on behalf of the Greens in support of the Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farm Enforcement and Other Matters) Bill 2011, which will amend the Domestic Animals Act 1994, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 and the Confiscation Act 1997, and with its provisions to crack down on the puppy farm regime that currently exists in Victoria. It is estimated that there are around 100, maybe more, illegal puppy farms with up to hundreds of animals on them.
On World Farm Animals Day, 2 October, Greens MPs from around Australia will join together to call for an immediate end to live exports and a rapid shift to more humane laws governing livestock farming.
Greens Senator and animal welfare spokesperson Lee Rhiannon said:
"The shift in public opinion which saw the federal government start to act on live exports, in the wake of the Four Corners report, is significant.
"Australia lags dangerously behind other nations, with EU laws resulting in initiatives such as banning sow stalls, battery cages and veal crates." Greens MP Sue Pennicuik said:
Greens MP, Sue Pennicuik has expressed disappointment at the decision by the Ballarat Turf Club to reintroduce jumps racing after it was discontinued there in 2009.
"We are now at the end of the 2011 jumps racing season, and a total of 11 horses have been killed, that is: 8 horses have been killed in races and 3 horses have been killed in trials in Victoria and SA," said Ms Pennicuik. "There have also been several falls and incidents in other races despite the so-called improvements introduced by Racing Victoria Ltd."
Greens spokesperson on animal welfare, Sue Pennicuik MLC, has urged the state government to ensure that legislation it is planning to introduce in state parliament next month is strong enough to ensure that puppy farms that keep animals confined in cages as literal ‘breeding machines’ can no longer exist.
Speaking at the Oscar’s Law rally, attended by thousands of Victorians on the steps of state parliament, Ms Pennicuik said, “the government needs to establish compulsory minimum standards for breeding companion animals and any legislation must ensure that not only large-scale operations but all puppy breeding operations are captured and any operations that fail to meet the psychological, behavioural and social needs of dogs, no matter the size of the operation, are closed down.”
Greens Animal Welfare spokesperson Sue Pennicuik MP, moved a debate on a motion to ban duck shooting yesterday in the first such motion in the state parliament.
"Duck shooting was banned in Western Australia in 1990 - 21 years ago, in NSW in 1995 - 16 years ago, and in Queensland in 2005 - six years ago," said Ms Pennicuik. "Those governments banned duck shooting on the grounds that duck shooting is not an acceptable activity."
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- Australians who watched the Four Corners program 'A bloody business' will be horrified, appalled and angry. The courageous investigation by journalist Sarah Ferguson and Lyn White from Animals Australia documented sickening abuse of Australian cattle in several Indonesian abattoirs.
Intensive factory farming of pigs is widespread in Australia. In these factories, pregnant pigs are kept, often for the entire duration of their 4 month pregnancy, in tiny metal cubicles that confine and isolate them, prevent them even from turning around, and cause severe physical and psychological trauma. Nursing mothers are often similarly confined, unable to interact at all with their babies who endure teeth clipping, tale lopping and castration without anaesthetic. Under any other circumstances this would constitute illegal animal cruelty, resulting in criminal prosecution. In Victoria, however, such practices are legally exempt from the reach of animal cruelty law. The ongoing use of sow stalls, widely acknowledged as among the most cruel practices, is therefore, essentially legalised animal cruelty.
The grim reality of the widespread existence of puppy farms has been growing in the public consciousness for a number of years. Prior to the November 2010 Victorian state election it finally emerged as a political issue. Amid much community opposition to puppy farms, the government and the then coalition opposition each vowed to put an end to “illegal puppy farms” if elected.
Jumps racing, despite widespread community opposition, continues to receive substantial financial and other support from both the liberal/national coalition, and the labor party.
The Greens, together with the RSPCA and other expert organisations, have worked tirelessly throughout the last parliamentary term to end this cruel and unpopular sport. Jumps racing has been banned in all Australian states except for Victoria and South Australia. It is the only sport that has an ‘acceptable death rate’ for its participants. According to Rodney Rae, president of the Australian Jumps Racing Association and outspoken advocate of jumps racing, “There hasn't been a jumps racing season where we haven't had a fatality.”
Victorian Greens Animal Welfare spokesperson Sue Pennicuik protested at the 2012 duck shooting season opening at Lake Buloke, 17 March 2012. See Sue's video of the day on YouTube.
In June 2011, Sue Pennicuik moved in Parliament to ban duck shooting in Victoria. Only the Greens supported this motion.
In Victoria, duck shooting enjoys the unconditional support of both the Coalition and the Labor party. In 2010, despite reports of dwindling bird numbers, recommendations by the government’s own Animal Welfare Advisory Committee that duck hunting should be banned on the grounds of cruelty, and frequent reports of collateral damage to other (often endangered) species, the former Labor government even went so far as to increase kill limits for hunters. The Coalition government has continued to encourage duck shooting. The Greens have campaigned strongly to end duck shooting in Victoria and will continue to do so.