Primary Industries Minister, Jeremy Rockliff, must guarantee that any Tasmanian greyhound industry investigation into live baiting is independent and transparent, Greens’ Animal Welfare spokesperson Cassy O’Connor MP said today.
“The gut-wrenching expose of live-baiting occurring in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria on last night’s Four Corners program, has confirmed the need for a rigorous and independent assessment of Tasmania's greyhound industry,” Ms O’Connor said.
“The Greens are also calling on the Minister to assure any individuals participating in an investigation that they are protected. We have seen that live-baiting is an underground activity and like so many other animal cruelty cases, it takes whistleblowers coming forward to expose it.”
"What we saw on last night's Four Corners report was an industry riddled with cruelty all in the name of making a buck and it would be naive to imagine there are no cruel practice in Tasmania’s greyhound racing industry."
“Given the financial support the industry receives from the state government, Minister Rockliff has a clear duty of care to ensure that the industry is in full compliance with the Animal Welfare Act.”
"We are hopeful an investigation will expose any current offenders, but what is really needed to ensure high animal welfare standards in Tasmania is a fully-funded and independent inspectorate, responsible for inspecting all racing and commercial operations, as well as reports of domestic cruelty."
"So far, the Hodgman Government has slashed RSPCA funding, reversed the former Labor-Green Government’s procurement policy for free range eggs in government departments and reversed the ban on 1080 poison.”
“It is time for Minister Rockliff and his colleagues to realise that the protection of animals is core to a decent society and animal welfare means a great deal to Tasmanians,’ Ms O’Connor said.