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Seven Months of Silence from Liberals on Polo Pony Deaths

29 Aug 2018

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens’ Leader and Animal Welfare spokesperson

It’s seven months to the day since 16 prized polo ponies died on the Spirit of Tasmania, and there’s been no information from government on the animal welfare investigation or any information about the role the TT Line may or may not have played in this tragedy.

This is an extremely significant animal welfare issue and a matter of concern to Tasmanians as well as visitors from interstate who transport their animals on the Spirits of Tasmania. They want to know the government is taking it seriously, and that their animals will be safe.

Yet seven months after this tragedy we still have no clarity on what caused the deaths of 16 horses on the Spirit.

Minister Courtney – allegedly responsible for Animal Welfare – said there were not wider transport or welfare concerns. It’s arrogant to stand up in Parliament and claim she couldn’t provide any information to the people of Tasmania, and then allude to some work that has been done through her department in relation to the deaths.

DPIPWE has been underfunded by the Liberals in government. As a result, animal welfare has been deprioritised.  This neglect of animal welfare is why Dr Malcolm Caulfield resigned from the government’s Animal Welfare Advisory Committee in disgust earlier this year. 

It’s been seven months and there are legitimate questions being asked by the Greens – and the community – about why the investigation into the deaths of those 16 beautiful ponies is taking so long, and why the Liberals are refusing to provide any answers.