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Australian farmers fed up, but secret cameras essential in exposing animal cruelty, inquiry told

Filming by activists, investigative journalists, bystanders and whistle blowers has stimulated intense public and political debate which has led to widespread industry and legislative reforms.

GISELLE WAKATAMA: ‘The RSPCA has told a state inquiry that live baiting in the greyhound industry, illegal puppy farms and alleged cramped conditions in feedlots would not be exposed without the use of surveillance devices. The New South Wales Legislative Council is conducting an inquiry into landowner protection from unauthorised filming or surveillance… “There have been many significant cases of animal cruelty in recent years that would never have been brought to public attention were it not for individuals taking it upon themselves to record the incident,” the RSPCA said.

The RSPCA went on to say that filming by activists, investigative journalists, bystanders and whistle blowers has stimulated intense public and political debate which has led to widespread industry and legislative reforms. It listed several examples that led to criminal investigations or prosecutions such as the live sheep export industry, a live baiting scandal in the greyhound racing industry and the operation of illegal puppy farms. The group said hidden cameras had also played a role in exposing animal cruelty in multiple abattoirs…

The group Animal Liberation told the inquiry it had a range of concerns associated with current and proposed amendments to existing legislation in relation to landowner protection. It said its main concern was differential protection and a dismantling of key public interest areas. “Attempts to gag the collection of materials obtained by private animal cruelty investigators significantly diminishes the capacity of the consumer to be reliably aware of practices inherent in the production of animal products,” Animal Liberation said. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) also wrote a submission’. SOURCE…

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