Pork Industry Welcomes Call for Mandatory Reporting of Animal Cruelty25 August 2014
AUSTRALIA - The Australian pork industry has welcomed calls by the RSPCA for states and territories to legislate mandatory reporting of animal cruelty.
According to ABC, the RSPCA wants the government to make it illegal for anyone working with animals, including farmers, saleyard operators and vets, not to report incidents of animal abuse.
Chief executive of Australian Pork Limited, Andrew Spencer, says it could prevent activists from withholding footage of animal cruelty for long periods of time.
"I guess it needs to be looked at from a legal point of view, how to legislate, how it fits into the various different types of legislation in the states," he said.
"But in principle, cruelty's cruelty, if you do it or if you see it, you have an obligation under the law to either stop doing it or to report, or do something about fixing it."
The National Farmers' Federation says it supports any attempt to improve animal welfare in the farm sector.
But NFF president Brent Finlay says he needs more time to consider the RSPCA's proposal.
"We're always concerned about more legislation and we're trying to get as much legislation that impacts on farming removed," he said.
"But where legislation is required, obviously we will look at it."
Sheep farmer and NSW Farmers' Association New England representative, James Jackson from Guyra, on the Northern Tablelands of NSW, says he's concerned about how far the penalties could go.
"These situations often involve quite fragile human situations...people are in a fragile mental state, and you don't want people suiciding after an intervention and people being publicly humiliated," he said.
"Ultimately what we want is good outcomes for the animals, but we don't want bad outcomes for the people."
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