The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, will discuss the Tasmanian Government’s pattern of incompetence or disregard when it comes to animal welfare, as evidenced by there now being at least four unresolved instances of animal cruelty.

WHEN: 11:00am TODAY 3 May
WHERE: Parliament House lawns HOBART

“Time and time again the Tasmanian Government has shown that it can’t be trusted on animal welfare,” Mr Wilkie said. “That’s why we need an independent body with powers and resources to conduct proper investigations and bring people guilty of animal cruelty to account.”

“For example in late 2016 we heard about the horrific cruelty at Gretna Meatworks and also Tasmanian Quality Meats at Cressy. The Government promised investigations but we’ve heard virtually nothing since.

“Then there’s the deaths of 10 cattle on a ship travelling from King Island to Devonport, which as far as I can tell remains unresolved. And most recently there’s the mysterious and unresolved death of 16 ponies on the Spirit of Tasmania.

“No wonder animal welfare expert Malcolm Caulfield recently stood down from a board advising the Tasmanian Government, citing deep-seated problems with the way investigations are handled.

“What is obvious from all this is that the State Government is completely ill-suited to investigate alleged animal cruelty. The community can’t have confidence that these matters are being looked into – if indeed they are at all – when the Government is so quick to obfuscate and sweep things under the rug.

“We also need a federal independent Office of Animal Welfare, because the Federal Government has shown itself to be just as bad. A federal body could also oversee investigations between multiple jurisdictions, such as the deaths of the polo ponies where there are three states involved.”

Authorised by Andrew Wilkie MP 188 Collins St Hobart