Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader and Animal Welfare spokesperson
The TT-Line’s casual attitude towards animals transported in its vessels across Bass Strait is in the spotlight.
In attempting to avoid liability for the deaths of 16 polo ponies on the Spirit, TT-Line has conducted itself as a poor corporate citizen.
The GBE is also effectively wasting public resources by pouring so much funding into the legal fight to avoid taking any responsibility for the ponies that died in its cargo hold.
The GBE’s argument that animal welfare transport regulations don’t apply to them is not only preposterous, and has been found by Justice Blow to be devoid of merit.
TT-Line would be better spending their time and public resources correcting issues that cause animal welfare failures, rather than fighting this in the courts.
The statement of expectations for TT-Line includes an expectation that TT-Line provide “a safe, reliable and efficient shipping service…”, and “maintain the safety and efficiency of its vessels…”.
That expectation should, of course, apply to the defenceless animals it transports across Bass Strait.
Despite the Greens raising this matter in 2018 GBE Estimates, TT-Line’s terms of carriage still exclude, “any liability for Loss, death or personal injury incurred as a result of or in connection with our negligence” and, “Liability to Passengers for Loss suffered or incurred by them as a result of… The death or injury of an animal (including an Assistance animal)”.
Animal welfare is an issue the community expects a government business would prioritise. TT-Line would do well to listen, and to make sure it has the best systems in place to care for animals on its vessels.
TT-Line’s actions and terms of carriage are at serious odds with their statement of expectations.
Shareholder Minister, Michael Ferguson, must step in and direct TT-Line to make changes necessary to ensure animal safety and to amend their archaic, unjustifiable and cruel terms of carriage.