THE WHIS­PERER

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PETS - Anne Box­hall Email abox­hall@big­pond.com Anne Box­hall is an ex­ec­u­tive offi cer with An­i­mal Wel­fare League Aus­tralia

FAITH is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.

When it comes to hav­ing faith in our politi­cians, we are sorely tested.

How hard it is to be a be­liever in the face of so many back­flips, false prom­ises, the duck­ing and div­ing and lack of com­pas­sion that brands gov­ern­ments as “not to be trusted”?

For vul­ner­a­ble an­i­mals, a brief glim­mer of light ap­peared in the dark­ness when the fed­eral govern­ment com­mit­ted to cre­at­ing an offi ce of an­i­mal wel­fare and our state govern­ment proudly an­nounced a ban on pig sow stalls.

With much fan­fare, Pri­mary In­dus­tries Min­is­ter Bryan Green com­mit­ted to phas­ing out sow stalls and en­joyed the sta­tus of be­ing the na­tion’s leader in farm an­i­mal wel­fare. Ac­co­lades fl ooded in from near and far. We now hear Green has qui­etly changed his mind.

It now ap­pears preg­nant pigs will con­tinue to suf­fer, cru­elly confi ned in me­tal and con­crete cages so small they can’t even turn around.

Na­tion­ally, the fed­eral govern­ment has gone back on its com­mit­ment to cre­ate an offi ce of an­i­mal wel­fare.

In­stead, just one per­son – an In­spec­tor- Gen­eral of An­i­mal Wel­fare and Live An­i­mal Ex­ports – is to over­see live ex­ports.

The ap­point­ment of one in­spec­tor to over­see an­i­mal wel­fare and live ex­port means this per­son will have an enor­mous work­load on their hands, not least due to the num­ber of live ex­port cases al­ready un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The push for an offi ce of an­i­mal wel­fare needs to con­tinue.

One in­spec­tor- gen­eral is not enough to cover the nec­es­sary ground. More than a live ex­port watch­dog is needed.

The op­er­at­ing prac­tices of many other agen­cies in­volved in farm­ing, as well as prac­tices around the breed­ing of com­pan­ion an­i­mals need at­ten­tion too.

An­i­mals don’t vote and can’t speak up for them­selves.

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