Greens Tammy Franks MLC will today bring the Surveillance Devices Animal Welfare Bill to a vote in the Legislative Council. The Bill ensures that the exposure of animal cruelty would be considered as being ‘in the public interest’ with consideration of the broadcast of footage of animal cruelty obtained through surveillance devices.
The Greens Bill would allow for the recording and publication of material by any party where this material is in the public interest without the need to first obtain a court order. The Greens Bill reinserts the words that animal welfare is in the public interest that were deleted from the Government Bill with the support of the Opposition.
This private members Bill tests whether Labor’s position was an accident or actually an Ag Gag law. Federally, Labor opposes all ‘Ag Gag’ Laws, this state Act is now out of step with federal labor policy.
Greens Animal Welfare Spokesperson Tammy Franks says: “The Weatherill Labor Government has repeatedly laid claim to standing against animal cruelty. Well, let them show that they actually do what they say they do by simply voting for animal welfare to be seen as in the public interest and allow for exposés of animal cruelty. These words I am putting back in the Act were Labor’s own words they happily voted out in the debate. Today’s vote will test their election rhetoric against the reality of their actions.
“In 2015, the Labor members actually voted against their own original provision in the Surveillance Devices Act designed to protect the exposure of animal cruelty and in so doing, they asserted that footage of animal welfare abuses were not to be considered ‘in the public interest’,” Ms Franks concluded.
The Law Society of South Australia, Free TV Australia, Voiceless, Animals Australia support the Bill. There have been 3,500 people have sent 105,000 emails to Members of Parliament via Voiceless campaign page. There are currently over 1,500 signed postcards to Premier Weatherill from South Australian public collected at Royal Agricultural Show and at Animals Australia stall.