Transport Minister bows to live export industry pressure to take Animals Australia advertising off buses

The Weatherill Labor Government has again shown it can’t be trusted on animal welfare, by interfering in an independent Animals Australia advertising campaign run on South Australian buses, Greens animal welfare spokesperson Tammy Franks MLC says.


In a speech delivered in Parliament today, Ms Franks revealed information obtained by FOI that in early January Minister Mullighan gave assurances to the CEO of Livestock SA that “while this particular campaign is not in any breach of any standards, APN Outdoor Media acknowledged the campaign was contentious and has volunteered to remove the advertising as soon as practicable.”

In correspondence with Livestock SA on 10th of November 2015, Minister Mullighan wrote:
“…while this particular campaign has run nationally and is not in breach of any standards, APN Outdoor Media acknowledged the campaign was contentious and has volunteered to remove the advertising as soon as practicable”.

Ms Franks said: “It is disappointing that Minister Mullighan has seen fit to interfere in this matter and sided with Livestock SA by directing that an advertising campaign that was found by the Advertising Standards Board not to be in breach of its standards be removed ‘as soon as practicable’.

“Once again the Weatherill Labor Government has shown it can’t be trusted on animal welfare. Last sitting week, Labor MPs supported the removal of words that protected the exposure of animal cruelty as in the public interest during the debate on the Surveillances Devices Act. Now, we have a Labor Minister taking measures to see the removal of ads exposing animals cruelty from public view.

“I congratulate Animals Australia for running a successful awareness campaign that was able to run its full course. However, we are gravely concerned that Minister Mullighan interfered in this way, and question whether he has made any further assurances with Livestock SA promising that future ‘ban live export’ campaigns be stopped from being run on Adelaide’s public transport?”

“We know that significant numbers of cattle, sheep and goats are exported to countries in the Middle East and South East Asia, with no laws to protect them from cruelty. Tens of thousands of animals don’t survive the sea journey each year and those that do are often transported, handled and slaughtered in appalling conditions.

“The boxed meat industry was already worth eight times more to the Australian economy in 2014-15 than live exports - and countries like New Zealand have made the switch, with no live animals being exported since 2007,” Ms Franks concluded.

The Animals Australia campaign ran until December in all major cities and featured an image of an Australian bull in distress in Mauritius, together with the slogan ‘Live Export: It’s a crime against animals” and a link to Animals Australia’s ‘Ban Live Exports’ campaign page.

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