ALP Won't Outlaw Animal Cruelty

Further to a previous post on the unregulated and cruel slaughter of endangered turtles and dugong in North Australia is this update:

Comments in italics through the transcript are mine.

On ABC's 7:30 Report [19/03/2012], Vicky Darling, QLD Environment Minister unwittingly revealed just how completely absurd this situation is. Here is part of the transcript:

Vicky Darling, QLD Environment Minister
Image source: Couriermail

SARAH DINGLE, (reporter): A week and a half ago, 7.30 showed images of another turtle being butchered alive which sparked national soul searching about whether Native Title rights should override animal cruelty. The Queensland Government pledged immediate action.

VICKY DARLING, (QLD Environment Minister): I was really quite disturbed by some of the footage of the particular methods of slaughtering those turtles that were shown on the ABC. And that's why of course I launched an immediate investigation

SARAH DINGLE: In Queensland, Native Title hunting is exempt from animal welfare provisions. Ahead of the inquiry's findings, the state's Environment minister (Vicky Darling) has already said she won't outlaw the cruelty depicted in these images.

VICKY DARLING: To hunt is allowable under the Native Title Act. To not recognise that in our animal care and protection laws could actually open up the ability for people to I guess attack the traditional owners' right to hunt....

What the Minister is really saying is that her Government is not about to do anything that might jeopardize the indigenous vote which traditionally goes to Labor and that irrespective of the inquiries findings, she has already decided to take no real action.

Darling is justifying her position based on the bizarre premise that protecting animals from cruelty and abuse somehow opens the door for the wholesale criticism of indigenous peoples.

I would argue that the exact opposite is true.

Barrister Geoff Beveridge has a different take on the provisions of the Native Title Act - and he knows the law:

I think that interpretation is wrong - sadly wrong. From the point of view the Act, the Queensland Welfare Act, allows them [the Govt] to make regulations. And if those regulations control Indigenous hunting or the methods of Indigenous hunting, that sits comfortably with the Native Title Act.

The report ends with the following summary, clearly highlighting the ambiguity and disingenuous political double talk from the Environment Minister:

State and federal governments admit they have no numbers of how many turtles, dugongs and turtle eggs are taken under native title hunting and there's no report date for the Queensland Government inquiry.

Read the full transcript here

On the 01/11/2011 At a forum hosted by Seaworld Vicky Darling had this to say about Turtles and Dugong:

There has never been a more critical time to host a forum like this, not only because of the increased number of strandings but because we are entering the turtle nesting season which will see thousands of these animals come ashore ... (she continued)

The focus of this forum is to look at innovative ways to address diminished food supply, other impacts and better ways to share knowledge and understanding for the common purpose of building species resilience. source

If you'd like to contact the Minister to let her know your feelings on the issue - you can do that here: Vicky Darling MP [this web address is now defunct]

The following clip has been put together by Bob Irwin, Ben Cropp and James Epong calling for moratorium on the killing of dugongs and sea turtles. It's apparently the rough edit of three adverts that they made and that have now reportedly been screened in three States. I haven't seen it, so I thought I'd post it here.

Make of that what you will ... but in case you've forgotten, the ACTUAL issue here is whether or not all animals should be protected from cruelty - or just those that the Govt finds politically expedient.

Here's some links to organisations that are doing their bit to help protect our endangered marine life.

Sea Shepherd weirdly the link is to the American site - the Australian site contains no reference to this issue that I can find ... it does however have a link where you can buy a T shirt, and that's nice.

Animals Australia


Save Australian Dugongs and Turtles

As we've heard from the Labor Environment Minister pledging to do nothing with regard to the torturous slaughter of Turtles and Dugongs I thought, with it being an election year and all, that you may be interested in what the Liberal National Party have outlined in their policy:

The LNP will remove the current exemption for traditional hunters from the law that makes it illegal for anyone to wound, mutilate, torture or unnecessarily prolong the death of an animal - enforceable with penalties of up to two years in jail or a $100,000 fine. Source

In the interests of balance, here's what I could find on this specific issue from the Greens Party

["You should be seeing nothing here except this text" - Bless 'em eh?]

Finally, a word on my political leanings or lack thereof. I am apolitical. I consider politicians to be much like stomach bacteria - some are harmful, some are benign, but for the most part I don't notice them until I start feeling ill ...

And right now I'm sick to my stomach.

I'm determined not to let this drop - but I promise, in the next post we'll be looking at something a damn sight cheerier than this issue.

Till then, take care.

Update: 24 April 2012
Darling is no longer the QLD Environment Minister. So our focus should obviously switch to the NEW Minister, Andrew Powell. If you'd like to ask your environment M.P what's going on with this issue - you can, [by form but not by direct email!?] by clicking here: Andrew Powell