I have somewhat of a reputation for going out on a limb at times, but perhaps no more than this time.
In NSW recently the Coalition legislated and passed what is known as Ag-Gag laws.
These laws which I have written on extensively in the past are something the National Party has been pushing for quite some time.
Supporters of this legislation argue that it protects the public from the risk of contaminants entering our food supply chain. This legislation was apparently required on the basis of the remote prospect of a biohazard risk from animal advocates entering a property to gather evidence of illegal activity in the form of animal cruelty.
Last year I contacted the NSW Primary Industries Minister and Federal Agriculture Minister, Niall Blair and Barnaby Joyce with some queries regarding this legislation. Niall Blair was clearly too busy raising funds for the Chair of the Parliamentary Inquiry into Breeding Practices Adam Marshall to be bothered responding, however in the response from Barnaby Joyce’s office they could not give one single example of a biohazard risk caused by animal advocates, let alone in Australia. Not even one.
That’s not to say there has not been biohazard issues in Australia previously, there have been hundreds of product recalls due to infectious products on our supermarket shelves. There have been major issues with virtually every kind of meat, particularly fish due to pollution and lead poisoning issues , and we have all heard of the notorious mad cow disease.
Despite all of these biohazard issues being caused by corporations and industry and not a single one being caused by animal advocates, in NSW it is jail time for advocates and “Get Out Of Jail Free” cards for the industry and corporations. Ironically in many cases it is the advocates that are actually highlighting the biohazard risks. Protecting not only the animals welfare, but your families health also.
This legislation also censors the press making it now illegal to publish footage or images from advocates investigations into animal cruelty. The same Coalition who made such a big deal about freedom of the press a couple of years ago believes that we should follow in the footsteps of China, North Korea and now NSW with government control and censorship. Apparently freedom of the press is only worth fighting for when it is in the defence of promoting racist views.
Last week in Northern NSW advocates from Oscars Law inspected a property in Pindaroi near Inverell discovering more evidence of the depravity and cruelty that has become synonymous with the supply of pets to pet stores and sold through online classifieds such as Gumtree and the Trading Post. Sadly it is the type of footage that whilst disturbing we have all started to become accustomed to seeing now.
This is the type of footage that the Pet Industry lobby groups like AAPDB, PIAA, and Pets Australia may look at fondly like it’s one of their premium suppliers and responsible breeders at work, however the public have higher standards. These lobbyists remind me of the German profiteers in the 40’s that said they didn’t harm a hair on a Jewish head, they just profiteered on the gold fillings from the teeth ripped out of Jewish mouths. All gain no pain.
This case is however quite significant as it highlights why these Ag-Gag laws need to be thrown out.
It is significant because it is not the first time we have seen this puppy factory.
The puppy factory in question was the catalyst for a Parliamentary Inquiry into Breeding Practices. It was the property that shocked a docile State government into the illusion of action, it is one of the many offending properties in the electorate of the Parliamentary Inquiry Chairperson Adam Marshall, and it is a property that has only further deteriorated since coming to the Baird government’s attention.
Oscars Law went to extraordinary lengths in order to ensure that this property was reported within the new 24 hour deadline. However it seems that the Baird government has made absolutely no efforts whatsoever to address the exposed animal cruelty despite the public outcry when it was first reported 10 long months ago. Not only that, the Baird government has gone to extraordinary lengths, including passing the new Ag-Gag laws to ensure this cruelty remained hidden and was allowed to continue and prosper in providing a tax-free income for its inhumane owners.
The Baird government has failed the public in this regards. Failed in every aspect.
Oscars Law advocates did not put anyone’s food supply at risk to gather this evidence of the Baird government’s failure. In fact, advocates followed a strict procedure that involves the disinfecting of footwear, and sealing their boots in plastic bags until actually entering the property. In fact it is fair to say considering that advocates enter dirt pens covered in animal urine and faeces, rotten food and filth that it is themselves that are bearing all the risks.
From his cosy taxpayer-funded office Niall Blair sits and has the nerve to pass judgement on those who risk all to expose this hideous cruelty. As advocates prepare themselves for long walks in the dead of night bracing themselves to witness firsthand every atrocity the human race is capable of in the name of greed, Niall Blair sits in an expensive restaurant being wined and dined by lobbyists from the pet and livestock industries.
One thing that still puzzles me, is why an illegally operating illegal business such as this comes under the Primary Industries Minister. Surely this should come under the Police Minister given its illegality, in the same way a farm growing Marijuana would. In the end it is law enforcement officers that shut the places down, and it is the courts the owners end up in facing criminal charges. Any connection to agriculture or Primary Industries is a loose one at best.
One thing is clear. Under a Coalition government NSW has become a rogue state.
This puppy farm is an illegally operating business, it is not registered, it has no council permit, and it pays no taxes. It’s owners by allegedly breaching animal cruelty laws have broken the law multiple times and continue to do so in utter defiance of the law and community standards.
Yet as Fairfax point out in their coverage yesterday nobody has the power to stop it. Despite two Parliamentary Inquiries, bucketloads of publicity, and lots of tough talk, the business is still operating as you read this. The dogs are still suffering in the same conditions on the same property.
NSW is the only state in the country to have these draconian Ag-Gag laws protecting these tax dodging criminal enterprises from exposure.
In fact it is only fair to warn readers from all states that under the police state in NSW at the direction of Chairman Niall Blair, every single person who retweets or shares this article, or the Fairfax article, will have broken these new NSW regarding the publishing of illegally obtained images.
What a joke. Imagine it, a prison full of social media users while the real criminals continue to sell their products through our local pet stores.
Welcome to the Rogue State.
For what it’s worth I wont be losing sleep waiting for Niall Blairs secret police to kick in my door. The way I see it if people are willing to risk all to expose these examples of a sub-species of humanity than the least I can do is write about it.
So, given this I have a message for Niall Blair regarding his Ag-Gag censorship laws.
Fuck You Niall Blair
Fuck you very much.