AJP Newsletter March 2013
December 2012 AGM
Around forty members attended the AJP Annual General Meeting in Sydney on 9 December 2012. You can read the President’s address to the meeting on the AJP website http://www.animaljusticeparty.org/2012/12/24/presidents-report-december-2012/ You can also see who has been elected to the Party’s Committee of Management for another year and read a little about their background in helping animals.
September Federal Election
By now you will know that the Prime Minister has set the date for the Federal Election as 14 September, with the writs coming into effect from 12 August. The AJP will be standing two candidates for the Senate in most states and territories. We will be in a position to announce the names of the endorsed AJP candidates at our official launch in early April, giving candidates and the Party six months for electioneering. The process of endorsement includes a call for formal applications for nomination from financial members, a standard legal and probity checking procedure, reports from nominated referees and, based on all of this, a recommendation from the current Committee of Management to the Party’s voting members for final endorsement.
The AJP policy manifesto, under the heading ‘…a better life for all’, is now on the website under the ‘About us’ section (http://www.animaljusticeparty.org/standard-page/manifesto/ ). I urge you to read the manifesto and let us know what you think. The manifesto takes the position that economic, social and environmental objectives in this country can never be adequately and equitably met if our attitude to animals is one of disregard and cruelty. Respect, tolerance, fairness, cognitive justice, kindness and compassion are necessary values for a nation to meet its full capability. The manifesto sets out a broad approach to our policy position, and more detailed policies are also available on the website.
Melbourne Meeting of Members
Our Victorian members have been actively discussing priorities and strategy in light of the forthcoming Federal election and a likely Victorian State election next year. For those in Victoria keen to be part of this energetic group, contact Bruce Poon at: email@example.com.
Anna Hall, of the AJP Committee of Management, has ensured an AJP presence at a number of Sydney festivals and markets in recent years. This has proved to be a worthwhile way of disseminating information, recruiting members and selling merchandise. We had a similar presence at World Vegan Day in Melbourne and the Living Green Festival in Canberra in 2012.
In 2013 we will be increasing our activity in this area, including such community markets as the Glebe and Paddington Markets in inner Sydney and farmers markets (such as in Everleigh Street). We will also later be expanding into other areas around Australia. The first event for this year will be the Mardi Gras Fair at Victoria Park from 10am on Sunday 10 February: http://www.mardigras.org.au/events/fair-day/ The second will be Rozelle Markets from 10am on Sunday 24 February: http://www.rozellemarkets.com.au/
We are calling for volunteers; Anna will give guidance if that is helpful and ensure supplies of pamphlets.
Volunteers will need to:-
• commit their time
• be reliable
• support and be familiar with all the AJP policies (as posted on the AJP web site)
• be able to be polite to everyone, in all circumstances
• have transport access
• adapt to a variety of weather conditions
• have a sense of humour.
If you are interested please let us know by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Website, Facebook and Twitter
The AJP website continues to expand, so it is good to revisit it when you have a moment. However, our Facebook page has some really impressive statistics, with almost 3000 ‘likes’ and an average daily traffic of between 3000 and 4000, an increase of 6%. The overall reach of Facebook is 45,000 weekly, which is up over 70%. This is not only a forum for news links, petitions etc., but is increasing our profile nationwide and even globally. Facebook is here to stay as a communications tool and is constantly evolving. It will prove very useful in the lead-up to the election and no one can underestimate its influence and spread. We now have even more to post regarding the AJP, enabling our policies and philosophy to be shared far and wide.
Our Twitter feed is also gaining momentum. Please follow us on Twitter @Justice4animals. Our recent social media fundraiser, which will continue until early March, is also successfully raising funds for our candidates and increasing membership of the AJP.
Marianne Thieme and the Dutch Party for the Animals
At a conference in Melbourne on 19 and 20 January I had the pleasure of introducing Marianne Thieme, parliamentary leader of the Dutch Party for the Animals in the Netherlands. In her talk; ‘How we are winning popular support for animal welfare’, many of the challenges she spoke about are challenges we will also face in the AJP.
In just ten years since its beginning in 2002, the Dutch Party for the Animals has achieved the remarkable result of having 23 representatives in Dutch politics. It has two representatives in the lower house of the Dutch parliament, one representative in the Dutch Senate, seven representatives in seven different provincial councils, six representatives in six different city councils and seven representatives in six Dutch ‘water councils’. In the last two Dutch national elections, Marianne Thieme and her colleague in the Dutch lower house, Esther Ouwehand, retained their positions.
Gillard government continues to support animal cruelty
The Gillard government is reaching new levels of horror in its support of brutality towards non-human animals.
The Gillard government continues to support the grotesque commercial kangaroo killing industry despite being fully aware of the welfare and hygiene issues associated with eating kangaroo meat. Apart from the irresponsibility, one can only be amazed at the level of hypocrisy of these politicians when they walk under our coat of arms at the entrance to Parliament House. The Australian Government recently produced (at a cost to taxpayers of more than $70,000) a DVD in the Russian and Chinese languages to try to convince these countries to import kangaroo meat and other products. So far the Russians have not been swayed by this one-sided sanitised footage overseen by the kangaroo killing industry itself.
Through its Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, the Gillard government provides funding to develop crude metal instruments to kill dependent infant kangaroos orphaned when their mothers are brutally slaughtered by the government’s subsidised commercial kangaroo killing industry (www.rirdc.gov.au) .
We also now find announcements in the media by Foreign Minister Bob Carr that his ‘high-protein diet’ consists of kangaroo meat, beef and almonds. There is a double level of politician hypocrisy and irresponsibility in this as he travels the world telling people what a great place Australia is and how important it is to fight climate change, when we know that beef production is one of the most significant contributors to greenhouse gas production and a high protein meat-based diet has much greater health risks than a plant-based diet.
The Animal Justice Party opposes the commercial killing of kangaroos and supports a plant-based diet.
The Japanese whaling fleet is nearing its destination for its annual ‘scientific research’ quota of whales; 850 minkes, 50 fin and 50 humpbacks, the species that travel up and down our coast and are a major attraction for local and international tourists. All Australians should be outraged as harpooning is one of the cruellest tortures that could possibly be inflicted on a sentient creature, sometimes lasting up to half an hour.
A recent survey in Japan found that 80 per cent of the population supported the abolition of whaling. Despite that, the Gillard government continues to condone the harpooning of whales in the so-called Southern Whale Sanctuary. Court proceedings have been going on since 2010 against Japan and no doubt will continue for many years to come. Only the bravery and defiance of the Sea Shepherd organisation in the face of such high seas terror saves many whales that would otherwise die painfully.
The Animal Justice Party fully supports the action taken by the Sea Shepherd organisation in Antarctic waters and wishes the Australian government would do the same.
Bobby (‘worth a bob’) calves (mostly male) are the unwanted ‘by product’ of the dairy industry. Almost 750,000 are literally born to die in Australia each year. As these rejected animals are virtually worthless in this ‘white liquid meat’ industry, they are often beaten, kicked, thrown and repeatedly electrically shocked, as shown on a recent ABC Lateline program, using evidence obtained by Animal Liberation in a Victorian abattoir. The programme showed two-four-day-old, defenceless animals – starving, motherless and terrified.
While the dairy industry exists and breeding programs cannot minimise the number of ‘unwanted’ calves being born the AJP insists that their protection in law must be upheld by authorities and assisted by mandatory CCTV cameras in abattoirs – both inside and over unloading ramps and lairage (holding pens). The AJP completely opposes the industry’s proposal that it should be permitted to withhold appropriate liquid feed from these calves for up to 30 hours.
Camels and Brumbies:
The recent ‘culls’ of camels and brumbies are completely opposed by the AJP. The aerial shooting of animals from the moving platform of a helicopter has been proven to be very inhumane. These ’culls’ see animals terrified and running away from the sound of the helicopter, injuring themselves in their flight, pregnant animals collapsing and the high incidence of inaccurate shooting and inability to administer ‘coup de grace’ shots. All of this renders this form of animal killing unacceptable.
The proved cruelty of this method of killing animals led to bans on the aerial killing of horses and cattle in NSW, following photographs taken of the horses shot in the Guy Fawkes National Park a number of years ago.
The AJP believes that the only acceptable way of reducing the numbers of any animals is by immuno-sterility programs or, in some cases, through translocation to other areas. However this should only be done if it is proven beyond reasonable doubt that the animals are a threat to their own survival, or pose a risk of major harm to another species or to the environment upon which they depend. The vast amount of funds spent on helicopters, marksmen, arms and propaganda could be spent on research into immuno-sterility programs using darting or species-specific baits. Successful non-lethal contraception programs are in use in other countries around the world. It is clear that killing animals by various cruel means does not effectively reduce population numbers, even if doing this has been proved to be absolutely necessary.
Live trade in farm animals:
The Gillard government continues to support the live trade in farm animals to foreign countries despite ongoing and widespread graphic evidence of horrific brutality.
The shipboard voyages of live animals to foreign ports can take up to 41 days, and in three decades, 2.5 million of these animals have died just from the horrors of the journeys. This does not take into account those who have died before even leaving Australia, in feedlots (‘registered premises’) and on long-distance truck trips across the country.
On board ships, the primary causes of death are salmonellosis, ‘inanition’ (starvation/dehydration), pneumonia, heat exhaustion, and trauma from cruel handling, injuries and septicaemia. All the ships used in the trade are foreign, registered in flag of convenience ports, with crews from third-world countries who have little interest in animal welfare. The vast majority of the ships are considerably more than 25 years old.
Since we saw on the ‘Four Corners’ program the horrors of the Indonesian abattoirs, and were told by Ms Gillard and Senator Ludwig that Indonesia was an isolated incident, we have witnessed equally abhorrent treatment to Australian transported farm animals in Qatar, Bahrain, Pakistan and Israel. The evidence of the extreme brutality of the Australian live trade in farm animals industry is now overwhelming.
An end to this trade in wretched animal misery and suffering is one of the key policy platforms of the Animal Justice Party, and we pledge to work tirelessly until this industry is shut down for good. The export of live animals is a shame and a disgrace on the collective Australian conscience and we are judged globally by it in our relations with other nations.
If you are yet to pay your membership for 2012-13 or you want to become a new member you can:
- Download the membership form, make a cheque out and mail to
Animal Justice Party
PO Box 1010
Strawberry Hills, NSW, 2012
2. Direct transfer (Please email email@example.com for details)
Best wishes to all,
Professor Steve Garlick
Animal Justice Party of Australia