THE WHIS­PERER

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PETS - Anne Box­hall Email abox­hall@big­pond.com

MOST peo­ple do their bit to give their pets a good life. Some also keep a car­ing eye on neigh­bour­ing pets or farm an­i­mals and make an­i­mal- friendly choices.

Oth­ers get ac­tively in­volved in cam­paigns.

Th­ese days, it’s not un­usual to hear of peo­ple gath­er­ing footage on their mo­bile phones at live ex­port load­ing ports, farms, or wher­ever they see an­i­mals be­ing poorly treated.

This footage helps bring the mis­treat­ment of an­i­mals into the fore and calls out per­pe­tra­tors of cruel prac­tices.

An­i­mal pro­tec­tion or­gan­i­sa­tions have gath­ered large amounts of footage show­ing abuse at an­i­mal- han­dling sites.

Most who view this footage couldn’t help but be moved when the gore and bru­tal­ity that is nor­mally hid­den from view is re­vealed.

An­i­mal ad­vo­cates – both here and over­seas – are hav­ing an im­pact and touch­ing nerves in the farm­ing busi­ness.

They are reg­u­larly ac­cused of run­ning a veg­e­tar­ian agenda, but it is meat eaters who have the most to gain from en­sur­ing a safe meat sup­ply.

In the US, agribusi­ness is push­ing for “ag- gag” laws to stop un­der-cover film­ing at slaugh­ter houses and on farms.

The laws would force footage of an­i­mal abuse to be sur­ren­dered to au­thor­i­ties and, if this were not done, the per­son film­ing would face jail time.

It begs the ques­tion: what is go­ing on that the in­dus­try is so wor­ried about the pub­lic see­ing?

Is it that some farm­ing or han­dling prac­tices sim­ply can’t be de­fended and must be kept hid­den?

Do in­dus­try bod­ies re­alise con­sumers want more in­for­ma­tion – not less – about where their meat comes from?

Tas­ma­nia’s Bright­side Farm Sanc­tu­ary in­vites you to meet four coura­geous voices for an­i­mal pro­tec­tion – Lyn White ( An­i­mals Aus­tralia), Philip Wollen, ( phi­lan­thropist), Bob Brown ( en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist) and Alex Cearn ( pho­tog­ra­pher) at a fundrais­ing gala in Ho­bart on Satur­day. All pro­ceeds go to the an­i­mals. For more de­tails or to buy tick­ets, visit www.bright­side.org.au

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