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?”