Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Animal Welfare spokesperson
The decision to restrict the movements of Tasmanians is full of challenges but it’s required to save lives.
The welfare of animals must also be protected during this time.
The Premier’s decision to shut down racing in Tasmania is the right one. We thank him for taking on board public health and community concerns, and making this move ahead of his interstate counterparts.
We also acknowledge a public commitment has been made to address the ongoing welfare of those animals in the thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing industries.
We understand that the vast majority of people in the racing industry take great care of their animals. When people are doing it tough, however, the welfare of animals can be compromised.
The Greens hope the government will ensure that beautiful horses and dogs, no longer making money for their owners and trainers, are protected through this time.
In a time of coronavirus, shelters and sanctuaries for animals are even more critical. Many people who have lost their jobs will be struggling to pay for the care of their animals, and we trust those who come to the rescue will be supported.
Organisations like the RSPCA, Dogs Homes of Tasmania, Ten Lives, Brightside, and Big Ears are the ones who will deal with some of the unspoken and harrowing stories of COVID-19.
Alongside Bonorong’s wildlife rescuers, the staff and volunteers of these organisations will save the lives of many animals through these challenging times – and we thank them for their commitment.
We all have a responsibility to be part of keeping Tasmania’s animals safe through the dark months ahead.
Whether it be checking on food and water supplies for neighbours and their animals, or supporting services that pick up the pieces, together we can make sure that animals too are kept safe and well.