Image for Dear Rebecca ...

• Dear Ms White,

In this election year, I am hoping that you and your colleagues will help those among our most vulnerable, and bring to justice those who are harming them.

Following 3 slaughterhouse exposés in one year (2016), in one state (Tasmania) and no consequences, please see attached, my letter (18.10.17) to the Tasmanian Premier, and Deputy Premier, cc: selected Federal and State politicians (including yourself), media, and animal advocacy organisations.  I have received no reply.  More importantly, well over a year after the sickening video footage of the atrocities was provided to the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries (DPIPWE), there are still no consequences for those responsible, and the slaughterhouses are still operating. ( TT: ‘New slaughterhouse expose projected onto wall of butcher’ )*

With regard to question 4 in that letter - the establishment of an Independent Office of Animal Welfare (IOAW) -  please note:

a   The Productivity Commission Inquiry report into the ‘Regulation of Australian Agriculture’, No 79, November 15, 2016, states that, a number of concerns were raised regarding a “conflict of interest”. 
    “After closely considering submissions and evidence from hearings on this matter, the Commission maintains the view that the most effective approach would be to establish an independent statutory
    agency — the Australian Commission for Animal Welfare (ACAW) — with responsibility for developing the national standards — the standards would be implemented and enforced by state and  
    territory governments.”

b   In Federal Labor’s animal welfare policy, this is number one:  “1. Establish an independent Office of Animal Welfare”

c   In Federal Greens animal welfare policy, this is number one:  “Establish an Independent Office of Animal Welfare (IOAW)”

And the Victorian Labor Government has announced an Animal Welfare Action Plan, “… to better reflect modern community expectations of their treatment.” 
“In recent years shocking incidents have emerged including the discovery of 22 horses that died of starvation on trainer Bruce Akers’ Bulla property in 2016.  And in the same year disturbing footage from Echuca abattoir Riverside Meats showed animals being beaten and stabbed.”

New laws are now being drafted to cover society’s obligation to animals “in all environments, and for all purposes.”  “Recognising that animals are sentient creatures will be among the major reforms in the new legislation.”  -

This the latest in a growing list of states and nations (11 reported in February 2016) formally recognising in legislation, that animals are sentient, e.g. Queensland, Australia, New Zealand, France, the European Union in 2009.  Many are including invertebrates like squid and octopus as sentient ‘animals’.

In slaughterhouses, the animals are at their most vulnerable and defenceless.  There is no escape.  All are sentient individuals, and in these particular cruelty cases, many were babies.  Already confused and terrified, their torturers showed them no mercy.  I have no doubt that, as these abattoirs continue to operate, workers and management continue to show no mercy.

Prior to the state election on March 3, will your party;

1   commit to pursuing the most severe consequences for all involved in acts of cruelty to animals in slaughterhouses;
2   work to legislate for mandatory, independently monitored CCTV in all slaughterhouses in Tasmania, in line with other countries around the world;
3   undertake to have the police replace RSPCA Tasmania, as the responsible body to investigate and enforce animal protection laws and regulations;
4   formally endorse the Federal Labor policy to establish an IOAW;
5   formally recognise that non-human animals are sentient beings?

Commentators around the world are declaring that the animal advocacy will be the next great social justice movement.  Many are saying it already is.

Ms White, I urge you to please respond with empathy and compassion.

Yours faithfully,

Cheryl Forrest-Smith

*  ‘Huon Valley Meats’ Cradoc Hill Abattoir (see attachment) announces its’ closure - ABC News, 21.11.17.  The owner denies it is due to the exposé.

cc:  Federal and state politicians, broadcast and print media, and animal advocacy organisations.

• Rebecca White MP
Labor Member for Lyons
Leader of the Tasmanian Labor Party

Dear Ms White,

I am following up my email below, to request a reply. 

I understand that it could be a close election on March 5, and global community support for the welfare of animals has never been higher.
As a result of the forthcoming election, Tasmanian political parties are now of particular interest to many, as there is a valuable opportunity for the state to lead the nation, and be part of the growing international community, in progressing the cause for meaningful animal welfare.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Cheryl Forrest-Smith

• Dear Cheryl

Thank you for your enquiry.

Labor supports world-leading animal welfare standards in food production, including restrictions on sow stall and cage-egg production, and will assist industry to adapt to changing consumer preferences in this area.

Thank you for your considered input.

Kind regards