Victorian Government Fails to Protect Koalas in Logged Forest

KinglakeThe Animal Justice Party has condemned the Victorian government’s decision to allow logging in the Acheron Valley despite warnings the forest is a habitat for native animals and endangered species.

To ignore scientific evidence that endangered animals reside in the forest shows little commitment by the government to environmental protection.  Instead, the government have continued a monopoly on logging from Victoria’s public forests through the state owned agency, VicForests.

The Animal Justice Party supports renewed calls for the Victorian Government to create a Great Forest National Park after the discovery of a dead koala in a logging coupe.

If the Andrews government established a 355,000-hectare protected forest from Kinglake to Mount Baw Baw and back to Eildon, they will contribute to the future survival of native animal populations, including endangered species like the Greater Gilders and Leadbeater Possum.  It is estimated the Great Forest National Park could attract 400,000 visitors, create 750 jobs and add more that $70 million to the local economy annually.

The Animal Justice Party believes humans can thrive without an adverse impact on wildlife and the environment through sustainable protected forests in Victoria.

The Victorian Government cannot continue to ignore the impact VicForest logging has on forests and native species.

Lead Pollution on Victorian Duck Hunting Wetlands

Photo courtesy Coalition Against Duck Shooting

Photo courtesy Coalition Against Duck Shooting

Responding to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) decision to carry out water and sediment sampling for residual lead pollution on Victorian lakes used for duck hunting, Bruce Poon, National President of the Animal Justice Party (AJP) said the decision proves there is reason for concern over contamination from decades of duck shooting in the Victorian Wetlands.

The EPA advised, their staff would conduct testing in the field, based on the 2017 hunting reserves, including fifteen lakes in the Western District as well as further north to wetlands including Cairn Curran Reservoir.

According to Bruce Poon, “We are hopeful that any lead pellet contamination will be dealt with swiftly, with closure of affected hunting fields and prohibit all shooting on any lead contaminated wetland.”

“It is concerning there is indication that some hunters continue to use lead pellet despite a ban being in place,” said Mr Poon.

Scientific reports have shown that lead pellet can contaminate algae and molluscs with subsequent ingestion and poisoning of waterfowl.

The Animal Justice Party is hopeful the government will take the responsible action to close any lead contaminated waterways found by the EPA when they issue their report in August 2017.

Melbourne City Council to Expire Carriage Horse Permits in the CBD

We are delighted to report that Melbourne City Council will cease offering permits to horse-drawn carriage operators from June 30 this year. The AJP ran candidates at the recent Council elections in order to get this practise banned, and much work has been done by us in lobbying Councillors to support this move for some time. We are delighted to have played a significant part in making this the most complained-about issue to the Melbourne City Council, ultimately leading to this welcome decision.

Carriage winA huge thanks must go to Kristin of Melbourne Against Horse-Drawn Carriages and her colleagues and assistants. Kristin spearheaded this campaign for the AJP over many years and has been instrumental in delivering this outcome through her tireless activism. A big thank you also to Melbourne City Councillors Rohan Leppert and Cathy Oke for their unwavering support, and to Mayor Robert Doyle for finally acting in line with his constituents’ wishes. And lastly, a thank you to ALL OF YOU who attended rallies, wrote letters and generally made this an issue that the MCC could no longer ignore.

Today, this is a win for the AJP and the animal lovers of Melbourne. But we will continue to make noise, lobby, protest and negotiate with all the political capital we have for the MANY other issues that matter. Because the Animal Justice Party isn’t just of value at election time. We are ALWAYS working to give animals a voice in Australian politics.

An Annual Festival of Cruelty & Ecological Vandalism

The Animal Justice Party condemns and deplores the ACT government decision to kill yet another 2600 kangaroos on Canberra reserves and the Googong Reserve (in NSW which is managed by the ACT) in 2017.

The decision follows release for public comment of a draft Kangaroo Management Plan (KMP). The content of this Plan confirmed that the government has very little scientific support for its claims that ACT kangaroos are at high densities, or that they are capable of harming the very environment which has relied on kangaroo grazing to maintain it for millions of years.

The KMP’s recommendation to slaughter of up to 40% of the entire population annually flies in the face of established understanding that kangaroo populations in natural conditions cannot grow faster than 10% per year. It also defies growing evidence that kangaroos number are barely 10% of numbers at the time of European settlement.

Joey in PouchThe government denies the cruelty of its annual slaughter with assertions about a ‘humane’ killing season. Yet the ACT’s killing season takes place when almost every mature female kangaroos has both a pouch joey and a young at foot. Both babies die when their mother is killed, either bashed to death or abandoned to starve.

The government defends this cruelty by claiming its shooters comply with a code of practice, but, even if this compliance was assured, the government knows full well that the purpose of a code practice under the ACT Animal Welfare Act is not to prevent cruelty but to permit it. Even the Productivity Commission notes this in its Inquiry Report on Regulation in Australian Agriculture: “Most states’ primary legislation allows for the adoption of codes of practice by regulation, with compliance with the code being a defence to prosecution for cruelty or breach of duty of care under the primary legislation” (p208).

Of the public submissions received by the government, the number rejecting the KMP outnumbered those supporting it by three to one. The government has declined to publish the submissions, probably because they explained far too convincingly exactly why and how the government has got it wrong.

AJP National President, Bruce Poon is appalled at the ACT government’s arrogance. “It is astonishing the government thinks it can just keep getting away with this annual festival of animal cruelty and ecological vandalism, year after year, until the last kangaroo is dead.

“Do they really think voters will continues to accept the government’s patronising assurances: ‘Don’t trouble your little heads about it, dears, we’re the government, we know best’ – in the face of such a blatant extermination campaign?”

AJP Submission to the ACT Government’s Draft Kangaroo Management Plan (KMP)

The Animal Justice Party has made a submission to the ACT Government’s Draft Kangaroo Management Plan (KMP).
The main thrust of our submission is the complete rejection of the KMP’s main assertions:

• to demoting (under law) kangaroos from ‘protected native animal’ to ‘controlled native animal’.
• that kangaroos have a deleterious impact on the environment;
• that the kangaroo ‘cull’ is humane; and
• the ACT Government’s prohibition of rehabilitating kangaroos.

 

The submission systematically demolishes the underlying logic of the KMP, in particular how unscientific the so-called science in it is!

Click here to access the AJP’s submission in full.

AJP MP’s Thoughtless Act In a Decades Long Career In the Service of Animals

Charges of hypocrisy being levelled at AJP Member of the NSW Parliament, Mark Pearson, need to be put into the context of his decades of service to animals. The attacks on a long-term animal rights campaigner appear to be for the sole purpose of trying to ensure the AJP does not succeed in its quest for a better world for animals.

Mark has deviated from the Animal Justice Party policy of a plant-based diet by eating fish, and we are disappointed with our MP’s behaviour. As the public face of the party we hold him to a higher standard and expect him to adhere to this policy. Mark Pearson isn’t perfect and we’d like him to do better, and believe that he will. We understand the disappointment felt by our supporters and apologise to them unreservedly. This is a timely lesson that those in government are ordinary human beings with flaws and inconsistencies.

We have already seen the benefits to animals of having Mark Pearson in parliament.  He is bringing the issue of animal cruelty into parliament every day.  Mark has tabled Bills that would mandate CCTV cameras in abattoirs, ensure monitoring and sprinkler systems are installed in intensive farms,  see the implementation of a ban on animals in circuses and prohibit primates being used in research.  Parliament has been required to debate the mulesing of sheep and listen to speeches about a full range of animal interests.  Ministers have responded to questions as diverse as sow stalls in piggeries to the cruelty of keeping dolphins in captivity.  The (sadly too-brief) Greyhound Racing Industry ban was partially credited to Mark’s discussion with Mike Baird.  We are still hopeful that Mark’s lobbying of the Environment Minister will result in a trial for contraceptive darting of brumbies rather than slaughter and trapping.

We have confidence that Mark will continue to serve animals by pushing for legislative change. We also have confidence that he has the strategic thinking required to achieve such change within the complex framework of our Parliamentary system. The AJP is the only party that takes a stand for all animals, human and non-human alike. 

AJP results in the Western Australian election

wa-state-election-2017-s

Thanks to all members of the Animal Justice Party in Western Australia for their efforts to win representation for animals. A tremendous amount of work has been put in over the last 6 months, and it showed on Saturday.

Six months ago, we had just over 200 members in WA, needing 500 to register for the state election. Since then, we have increased our members to well over 700, registered as a party in WA, endorsed 14 quality candidates to stand in the upper and lower houses and attracted our biggest ever vote in Western Australia.

It appears clear at this stage that we will not win an Upper House seat at this election. Indeed, we did not expect to, and felt that this election was mainly about ‘building’ towards a more successful election next time.

Nevertheless, we achieved some noteworthy results:

Labor appears to have won all the seats we contested, and have swept to power in WA. This is a good result for the animals, as the ALP in Western Australia have made a range of commitments on animal issues, which we will be following up on in coming months.

– If the ALP can hang on in the seat of Jandakot (currently on 50.1% two party preferred with 69% counted), they will win the seat on our preferences, as we received 2.1% of the vote.

The Greens appear to be headed towards an increased representation in the Upper House to 3 seats. We will be very disappointed if Lynn MacLaren loses her seat in South Metro. Indeed, we largely sacrificed our own chances of winning by preferencing her first at No. 3; hopefully the further counting will see her hang on.

– In the seat of Forrestfield, our candidate Ashley Jago received our highest vote of 3.1% (69% counted).

– In the Upper House, we received our highest vote in the Eastern Metropolitan region, where our candidate Dr Talia Raphaely received 1.37% (54% counted).

– At the last federal election, we received a total of 12,687 votes in the Senate contest in WA. At this state election, contesting only 4 of the 6 upper house regions (so from a smaller voter base) we will receive a projected 15,000+ votes once counting is complete. This continues a trend of the AJP vote increasing in each election.

We look forward to working hard with the new government and other elected parties to see what changes we can make to how animals are treated in Western Australia.

SO many thanks go out to SO many people today, who have worked SO hard over the past days, weeks, months and years.

Firstly, thank you to Alicia Sutton, AJP WA Party Secretary, 1st candidate for the South West in the state election and 2nd candidate for two federal elections, a Senate re-election and a by-election. Alicia has been invaluable in growing this party from strength to strength.

Thank you to all our other candidates for this election – people who stepped out of their comfort zone and said “yes”… I am not sure HOW to do this and I’m in new territory, but I WILL do it for the animals: Brigit Anderson (also committee member), Colleen Saporita, Ashley Jago, Francesca Gobbert (also committee member x 2 and outreach and volunteer coordinator), Kandi Revian (also committee member and our marketing guru extraordinaire), Matt Hanson, Natasha Chakich, Talia Raphaely, Lizzy Mac, Ramona Janssen, Nicole Arielli (also committee member) and Eric Gobbert.

Thank you to our other committee members – Andrea Pollard, Joanna Graham, Asten Nunn, Roberta Vlaar and Fiona Geoghegan, for the meetings and brainstorming and energy.

Thank you to our eastern states colleagues and Party President for their support and encouragement.

And THANK YOU to all the volunteers who stood for hours yesterday handing out AJP how to vote cards for us and who have manned stalls for us, letterboxed for us, campaigned for us, picked up and delivered things for us, given their time to us, and to the individuals and businesses that have given their money too – in cash, in kind and in merchandise purchases.

Having said all that, remember always one thing… it’s never about us – it’s about the animals; they are the ONLY reason we exist.

We will update you about the election results when we have final numbers. Give us a couple of days to wind down and recuperate.

Katrina Love, AJP WA Convenor.

Ebola for bunnies

The Government intends to release a deadly rabbit haemorrhagic virus next month.  AJP has argued in a submission to the Invasive Plants and Animal Committee that the release is unsound both on conservation and ethical grounds. Rabbits are also much loved companion animals and the only available vaccine has only had a small pilot study.

What can you do? Talk to your vet about the vaccine if you keep rabbits and request an urgent meeting with your local MP to lodge an objection.

There is also an article on New Matilda based on the submission. You can add comments.