Senator Chris Back tables animal cruelty bill

Beef Central, 11/02/2015

WA senator and veterinarian, Dr Chris Back, has introduced an animal protection bill which is aimed at reducing malicious cruelty to animals. It also makes provision to protect lawfully operating animal enterprises.

It was tabled as a private senator’s bill.

Senator Back said the Bill is an amendment to the Criminal Code, and has two parts, the first addressing the reporting of malicious cruelty to animals and the second, dealing with illegal interference in the conduct of lawful animal enterprises.

The first division of the Bill stipulates that if a person takes visual images of what they believe to be malicious cruelty to animals, they must report this to the responsible authority without delay.

Authorities are then empowered to investigate, to act swiftly ensuring further cruelty is averted and to prosecute the perpetrators if proven.

Senator Back said his decision to introduce the Bill followed recent examples of activist groups who presented visual images taken sometimes up to twelve months prior to disclosure, which effectively prevented regulatory authorities from accurately investigating animal cruelty allegations in a timely manner.

“As a veterinarian, I am as appalled as anyone else in the community when animals are subject to malicious cruelty. This Bill will give people the incentive to report the cruelty without delay in order for the authorities to investigate and end the cruelty immediately,” Senator Back said.

The Bill does not censor or restrict the media, media coverage or any person in any way.

The second division of the Bill is directed at anyone who intimidates, threatens or attacks a person or people associated with operating a lawful animal enterprise.  It also prohibits trespassing onto or vandalism of such enterprises.

Such actions are criminal in nature, invade the privacy of affected persons and can place animals at risk from a welfare, biosecurity, health and safety point of view.

Senator Back said the motives of many animal activists are clear by their own published statements.  They want to see the end of Australia’s livestock industries with many opposing any form of animal production and wanting to drastically reduce meat consumption.

In so doing, they are directly attacking Australia’s international reputation, export trade and the profitability of agricultural and rural communities generally.

Source: Senator Chris Back


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  1. Sharon McMahon, 28/03/2015

    Don’t be fooled by this disgusting bill. Chris Back has zero concern for animal welfare, his concern is the protection of industry people to whom money is much more important than an ethical industry. To let industry investigators regulate their own is to let the lunatics run the asylum. He is just trying to shut up those who have the guts to bring horrendous cruelty to light. The government authorities have been asleep at the wheel for to long. This just adds insult to injury.

  2. Jane Harman, 21/03/2015

    Animals depend on the ethical standards of human beings for protection.They don’t speak, they don’t vote but they suffer pain and misery just like us.
    Don’t give animal abusers protection by silencing whistleblowers. Instead how about giving farmed animals the same protection under law as dogs and cats???Some animals are NOT created more equal than others!

  3. Feline Briones, 15/03/2015

    This is an obvious and disgusting bill not at all aimed at protecting animals or caring about there welfare but fully about protecting the financial interests of those who exploit animals, who abuse them and who definately don’t want their filthy business seen by a caring public. This is a bill designed to silence free speech and turn the people who are trying to protect animals from horrifying cruelty into criminals. Every Australian should be concerned about this two faced facade because anyone who can recognise the truth can see this for what it is. Every time these type of politicians are not exposed for having big business agendas over compassion, kindness and basic human dignity, everyone loses. The way we treat animals within our care says everything about us. Animal cruelty is a crime every day of the week and will always and must always be exposed.

  4. Andrea Phillips, 12/03/2015

    I don’t really understand how part 2 follows. If the reporting of cruelty is welcomed, surely it won’t help to threaten those who do so, with prosecution for trespassing?

  5. Mary Lexie, 06/03/2015

    Any action that will eventually eliminate the suffering of all animals is welcome. Cruelty must be addressed – Farm animals that eventually end up on the table as food have the right to be treated with respect and killed humanely. these animals feel fear and pain just as we do and i do not understand how people can eat bacon and ham that has been factory farmed and can ignore the plight of the animals that endure the whole process of live export. I have written to my MP Clive Palmer on numerous occasions about this but I have not heard that he as my elected representative has done anything about it. thank you Senator Back for caring . I am not against eating meat just about the treatment of the animals. regards Lexie Cook

  6. Lynise O'Donnell, 06/03/2015

    Very heartening to finally see such a common sense approach!

  7. Dan Lynch, 13/02/2015

    Senator Chris Black,
    thank you for addressing an injustice to both livestock producers and livestock.

  8. Sandi Jephcott BVSc MSc MBA, 13/02/2015

    Chris Black has succinctly and effectively addressed concerns for livestock and producers and implemented legal hurdles that animal rights activists have to jump over to achieve their questionable objectives.

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