Greens MLC Tammy Franks has introduced a Bill to the South Australian Parliament that will allow a member of any species of the sub-phylum vertebrata such as sharks, to be classified as animals, attracting all the protections afforded to other animals under the Animal Welfare Act 1985. The Animal Welfare (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2016 comes as a response to Atlantis Lounge Bar’s plan to exhibit hammerhead sharks in a tank located in the middle of a dance floor.
Greens Animal Welfare Spokesperson, Tammy Franks MLC, says: “The community opposition to this ludicrous idea shows that attitudes towards animals have evolved beyond what the law currently states.
“Currently there are no protections under the Animal Welfare Act 1985 to protect sharks.
“Sharks in a tank in a bar belong in an Austin powers movie scene, not in an inner city bar in the 21st Century.
“While Atlantis Lounge is quite right in saying that there is no current legal impediment stopping them from exhibiting sharks in their bar, the fact remains that the everyday person can see that it is a cruel and harmful thing to do. This is why we are changing the law - to reflect current community attitudes.
“It is clear that they wish to obey the law, and this Bill will allow them to do so.
“Sharks are sensitive to electric systems, noise and light. The fact that they are not a protected species does not mean they do not deserve protection from both stupidity and cruelty” Ms. Franks concluded.