New laws to 'gag' animal activists

Many activist groups are concerned about changes to animal cruelty laws.
Many activist groups are concerned about changes to animal cruelty laws.

Activists and animal rights groups are frustrated by the discussion of Australia introducing ‘ag-gag’ laws similar to the US, saying they will help farmers get away with animal cruelty.

The push for harsher laws on animal rights groups who secretly film on farms, has attracted criticism from the Australian Greens and activists.  

Animal Liberation NSW spokesperson Emma Hurst said that if they introduce ‘ag gag’ laws it will stop footage like that taken at‘Wally’s’ from going to the media. 

“We see that if Wally’s Piggery doesn’t end up being prosecuted, then who will. This is probably one of the most hideous, black and white cases of animal cruelty and it just goes to show that going to the authorities and providing evidence of animal cruelty isn’t enough.”

She explained that if activists are being gagged from going to the media, there will be no way to expose and stop animal cruelty. 

“The only reason this cruelty stopped is because it did go to the media and people were outraged. With these ‘ag gag’ laws it is just another example of how the authorities and prosecution has really failed." 

The NSW ‘ag gag’ laws are up for debate and are expected to be brought up in march now there has been a bill proposed. 

“Certainly issues like ‘Wally’ wouldn’t be exposed anymore. We have huge animal cruelty issues here in Australia and the only difference will be that we won’t be aware of them [anymore].

“I don’t believe the RSPCA has done enough in the ‘Wally’ case. I’m really confused at the real reasons they have pulled out, it doesn’t make sense, they really haven’t given us a proper answer at all. To sit there and point the finger, saying animal rights are responsible is outrageous.”