Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader and Animal Welfare spokesperson
Right to Information documents* reveal that seals are increasingly the victims of an out of control fish farming industry and complicit, corporatist government which never says no to the big end of town.
Under the Liberals, thousands of Australian fur seals are being shot by ‘beanbag’ bullets, shocked with underwater explosives, injured, blinded, deafened - and undoubtedly, killed in some cases.
The RTI confirms thousands of Australian fur seals are being shot, blasted, blinded and deafened by fish farm operators who continue to prioritise profit over animal welfare.
Unsurprisingly, the current regime of seal management has been condemned by animal welfare advocates. Even less surprising given their sorry history of animal welfare failures over the past five years, the Liberals are deaf to these concerns.
The salmon farming industry has plans for massive and rapid expansion in coastal waters, meaning more seal management and animal welfare issues in the future.
Where are the seal proof cages? Why are the big industry players not investing and instead inflicting government-sanctioned cruelty on this recovering species?
Tasmanians who care about the welfare of animals will be asking themselves, why are Huon, Tassal and Petuna dragging their collective heels in rolling out seal proof cages, and why is the government allowing them to do so.
The Australian fur seal was hunted to the brink of extinction at the turn of the last century, and only now is their population recovering. These creatures deserve better.
Every day on salmon farms around the State, seals are being shot and shocked. It is state sanctioned cruelty and it’s up to the conflicted Minister responsible for the industry, and for the welfare of animals, Sarah Courtney, to put an end to these cruel ‘management’ tools.