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Senate report: Coalition backs Ag-Gag bill designed to shut down exposure of animal cruelty

Tony Abbott's Liberal-National government has thrown its weight behind Senator Chris Back's bill to prosecute whistle blowers and investigators who expose animal cruelty, said Greens spokesperson for animal welfare Senator Lee Rhiannon.

The six member Senate Standing Committees on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport, which has three Government Senators has recommended Senator Back's Criminal Code Amendment (Animal Protection) Bill be passed with a minor change.

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Govt regulations fail - time to end live export trade

The Greens have renewed their call to end Australia's live export trade following the latest exposure of the failure of federal government regulations to stop extreme animal cruelty in overseas abattoirs.

"The recent Animals Australia investigation reveals barbaric acts inflicted on cattle in a major Israeli abattoir, approved to operate under Australia's Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System," Senator Lee Rhiannon, Greens animal welfare spokesperson said.

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Estimates: Community Affairs Legislation Committee (Department of Health)

Senator RHIANNON: Dr Richards, I also had some questions on NICNAS and animal testing. I came in when you were in the middle of some of your questions; I apologise if I am repeating any. I want to start off with some process questions, so that I can understand the situation. What information does NICNAS require companies to provide about animal tested substances in order to fulfil data requirements set out in the industrial chemicals act?

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Estimates: Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee (Australian Maritime Safety Authority)

Senator RHIANNON: I understand that AMSA is responsible for monitoring flagged vessels compliant with safety and environment protection standards, including the safe carriage of livestock as cargo. Is that correct?
Mr Prosser : That is correct.
Senator RHIANNON: Under the Australian standards for the export of livestock, who is responsible for on-board ship inspections of livestock vessels in Western Australian ports?

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Estimates: Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee (Animal Health Australia)

Senator RHIANNON: With regard to Animal Health Australia's newly launched National Farm Biosecurity Technical Manual for Egg Production, in the document in section 23 on free-range production operations, page 26, it states: 'Some AI'-avian influenza-'of the H5 ... subtypes ... have in the past caused EAD outbreaks in the Australian egg industry'. I was just interested in whether you can supply details of the number of recorded cases of AI in the Australian egg industry.

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Cattle killed with sledgehammers – strengthens case to end live exports

Greens animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon today said the report that Australian cattle exported to some South East Asian countries are killed with sledgehammers is further evidence that the live export trade must end.

“This shocking report again highlights that the welfare of stock exported from Australia cannot be controlled from a desk in Canberra,” Senator Rhiannon said. 

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Greens respond to dismissal of greyhound trainers

Commenting on the news that Racing Queensland has stood down another 23 greyhound trainers in the wake of the live baiting scandal last month, Greens Animal Welfare Spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

“The dismissal of another 23 trainers exposes the degree of animal abuse and the crisis that is gripping the greyhound industry.

“This comes after 13 Queensland greyhound trainers were stood down following a Four Corners program last month which showed footage of live baiting at Tom Noble’s unregistered training property in Churchable about 55km west of Brisbane.

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AG-GAG laws would stop whistleblowers on animal abuse - Senate backs concerns

 The Australian Senate has supported a Greens motion that recognises that activist gag laws would shut down scrutiny of animal cruelty.

Australian Greens animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has welcomed the passage of the motion.

“The Senate motion highlights that if ag-gag laws were passed it would be impossible for cases of animal cruelty like the exposure of the many cases of abuse of greyhounds to occur,” Senator Rhiannon said.

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Motion: Greyhound Industry and AG-GAG Laws

Senator Rhiannon (New South Wales) (11:55): I move

That the Senate notes:

(a) the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Four Corners program, 'Making a Killing' aired on 16 February 2015, exposed the abhorrent cruelty in parts of the greyhound industry and the horrific use of terrified live animals as live bait to 'blood' greyhounds in training;

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