OPINION: Welfare starts with the truth

OPINION

By Fiona Simson

NSW Farmers has again called into question the character and motivation of the animal activist movement after the latest stunt revealed these “groups” simply aren’t interested in the truth.

Last month a group of activists from allegedly broke into a fully accredited egg farming facility at the state’s Mid North Coast where they broke locks, tampered with cages and crammed 44 hens into a single cage – a clear breach of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and an attempt to generate false and sensationalised footage.

Last week activists from the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) demonstrated they are bound only to a warped ideology and are not interested in facts.

If we are going to have a debate then let’s start with some very basic facts – for example last week’s advertising stunt used a blatantly fake movie prop, not a sheep, to further its campaign against livestock production and the wool industry.

Interest groups are perfectly entitled to spend their time in an art studio having a bit of fun with plasticine and play dough, but stunts like this one are a one-way ticket to losing trust with the public.

If these groups were sincere about their agenda they wouldn’t front their campaigns with lies.

If they were serious about this issue they would start a dialogue, not a scare campaign.

If they were serious about caring for animals, they wouldn’t breach welfare laws so they can create confronting
images.

You cannot trust these groups. They will lie, cheat, break the law and misrepresent the honour of our industry through deceitfulness and sensationalism.

If someone wants a debate on welfare, then let’s have it. Australian farmers have a long and strong history for the care and custodianship of animals in Australia and we spend millions of dollars each and every year preventing illness and eradicating disease.

I invite the broader public to have a closer look at the effort farmers put into animal health and welfare and the long list of success stories that we continue to chalk-up.

Farmers realise there is a need to start a broader conversation with the public about animal welfare and animal health and the duality of those two concepts.

They invest so much into animal wellbeing and best practice and we will be working to ensure that conversation can happen openly and transparently within an honest and holistic context.

NSW Farmers View
Published The Land - 23 April 2015

Contact: Veneta Chapple

Phone: 0429 990 218

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