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For the Fathers.

cw: this article contains images of violence against other animals and descriptions of violence and sexual exploitation against other animals.

This is for the fathers. For the often forgotten individuals held captive within systems of exploitation, valued only for their productivity (or rather their re-productivity) and used in a constant cycle of breeding and production, creating generation after generation of offspring destined for the knife. For the fathers whose bodies are manipulated, sexually assaulted and tortured all in the name of human gains and profits.

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Boar held at Wacol pig semen collection facility, QLD (image: Animal Liberation QLD 2019)

Pig semen for use in artificial insemination is collected via a “dummy sow” which the boars must be trained to use. Another boar’s semen, saliva or urine collected from a sow may be spread over the dummy, or an oestrus sow may be used to “excite” him. Once the boar has mounted the dummy, the  person responsible for collection will grab the end of the boar’s penis, and allow the boar to thrust through their hand several times before grabbing the penis firmly in order to stimulate ejaculation. The process lasts for up to ten minutes; after the first ejaculation a second may be stimulated with “brief, firm, pulsating hand pressure applied” to the penis. This process may be repeated two to three times a week, between which times the boars are in individual pens isolated from others.

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Electrical probe used for bull semen collection (image: Central Station, Australia)

The most common method for semen collection from bulls in Australia is electro-ejaculation; a restrained bull has a probe inserted into his anus, which emits an electrical current to stimulate the bull to the point of ejaculation, whereupon it is collected via a funnel. Prior to this, the bull’s testicles are measured and massaged to make sure he is viable for collection and breeding. Bulls may remain fertile until older age, however a drop in fertility will usually result in the bull being slaughtered. Artificial insemination in the cattle industry is big business, with collection centres across the country storing millions of dollars worth of semen for use by both the meat and dairy industries.

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Parent birds used by the egg industry (image: Animal Liberation VIC, 2016)

Both layer hens and broiler chickens are the offspring of “parent birds,” fertile breeding hens and roosters who are kept confined to sheds en masse. Multiple roosters are housed per shed, leading to fights and the over-mating of the hens. The roosters are kept for as long as their reproductive capacity is commercially viable, whereupon they are killed. Their offspring will go on to hatch in incubators, half of whom will be male; in the eggs industry those male chicks will not live past 24 hours old, instead they are either gassed or macerated live.

This article only provides a brief overview of the exploitation and violence inflicted upon other animals in the name of industry. Other animals, including (but not exclusive to) turkeys, dogs, horses, have their bodies manipulated and sexually exploited due to the demands of human tastes, entertainment, companionship, and profits. Were we to place the act of semen harvesting in any other context than the breeding of other animals for human gain it would be deemed not only perverse but potentially criminal; yet members of these industries, including veterinarians charged with the duty of overseeing collection, are absolved of any wrongdoing by a society that is willing to turn a blind eye.

As we approach Father’s Day, please reconsider your support for the industries that enact these deprivations and abuses upon non-consenting bodies. Please consider the fathers, incarcerated and exploited for your Father’s Day breakfast; for the milk in your coffee, the eggs and the bacon on your plate. Fatherhood should not be celebrated at the expense of others.

This is for the fathers, who never will be fathers, who will only ever be as valuable as their re-productivity.

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https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/agriculture/animals/pigs/genetics/collecting-semen

https://www.chicken.org.au/the-chicken-family-tree/

https://alq.org.au/wacol-pigs2

https://www.centralstation.net.au/semen-testing-bulls/

http://www.EggsExposed.com

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Artist Contribution: Hazel Alger

When I created the original artwork, as an eight-piece installation telling the brief tale of a meal in progress, my aim was to explore themes of tradition, complacency, and giving non-human animal exploitation a physical identity. Viewing it now, however, it invokes new and different thought processes in me.

Revisiting the piece two years onwards, rather than further delving into my thoughts on it’s original intentions, I’d like to offer it to the audience solely as a thinking point.

In my opinion, whatever you find in it, whatever it makes you ponder upon – if anything at all – turns it into a brand new work, as much yours as mine. In essence, make what you will of it.

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GOVERNMENT INACTION ON DUCK SEASON? NO SURPRISES THERE…

Animal Liberation Tasmania are appalled but unsurprised by the revelations that advice from the Principal Wildlife Management Officer to close eight key sites for the duck slaughter season of 2020 was likely ignored by the minister, Guy Barnett.

Duck killers leaving their hide, Moulting Lagoon 2018

The inadvertently released minutes from earlier this year advised that due to extreme drought on the mainland and the transitory nature of wild duck populations between Tasmania and the mainland, the Tasmanian Liberal Government should adopt strategies in line with those taken in other states in order to reduce impacts on populations by the slaughter. The drought has significantly decreased wetland habitats across eastern Australia (including Tasmania) resulting in large numbers of wild ducks seeking refuge in the state.

The department advised the following reserves be closed for the duration of the season:
• Moulting Lagoon Game Reserve
• Lake Tiberias Game Reserve
• Farm Cove Game Reserve
• Brushy Lagoon Conservation Area
• Lake Crescent Public Reserve
• North East River Game Reserve
• Waterhouse Conservation Area
• Cameron Regional Reserve
The department did not advise reducing bag limits due to the bureaucratic logistics of amending the regulations. A reduced season was likewise not recommended.

As a result of COVID-19 restrictions, many of these sites were closed to the public, including to duck shooters, as well as lands managed by Hydro Tasmania and STT. Killing on private land and under crop protection permits was allowed, however the minutes advised farmers with CPPs to deter rather than kill wild ducks where possible.

Primary Industries Department Secretary Tom Baker has claimed the minutes were not provided to the minister by his department, and in comment has sought to absolve the minister of any and all responsibility for the failure to act on this advice.

However Cassy O’Connor of the Greens has stated that it is unlikely the minister did not see the minutes, and if he did not then it was likely deliberate. Based on our interactions with the Tasmanian Liberal Government on matters relating to non-human animals over the years, which have been largely met with either dismissal or outright hostility, we concur.

Irrespective of drought conditions or bird numbers, the recreational slaughter of wild ducks is a cruel and exploitative activity that has no place in a modern and progressive society. We will continue to oppose the slaughter by whatever means necessary.

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NOTICE OF AGM POSTPONEMENT

Due to circumstances beyond our control we are postponing the AGM until the 18/7/2020, to be held at 12:30pm at a venue to be announced.

All are welcome, however please be advised that in order to vote or nominate for positions persons are required to be a member. Please visit al-tas.org to join.

In order to follow public health and safety requirements we ask individuals to wear a mask and abide by social distancing; hand sanitiser will be available on arrival.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the postponement.

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Comments: Ten Mile Enterprises Abattoir, Scottsdale

Comments regarding the proposed Scottsdale Pork Abattoir, Ten Mile Enterprises, Daniel Unwin (Application No. 51/2020)

To the General Manager,
We write in objection to the construction of the proposed abattoir by Ten Mile Enterprises and seek clarification on a specific operational matter. Our concerns and objections are as follows.

1. Environmental Impact Statement for Abattoir (p.3) states volume of slaughter to be 120 pigs per day, operating five days per week. The Wastewater Reuse Feasibility Assessment (App. B, p. iv) states volume of slaughter to be 100 pigs per day with an additional capacity for a further 50 pigs per day, 6 days per week. Clarification is required as regards the proposed operational days and the volume of slaughter as there is a significant difference between 600 pigs per week and a potential 1000 per week and the associated impacts.

2. Two active Wedge-tailed Eagle nests have been identified north east of the site within 800 m of the construction platform. Wedge-tailed Eagles are listed as endangered and will not nest in areas with an increased human population or activity. The species are known to be shy nesters and will potentially desert nests if exposed to the elevated levels of disturbance associated with construction and development. Once the facility is established the noise levels associated with the operation of the slaughterhouse, including increased volume of large vehicles transporting pigs to slaughter or collecting the product and the 2 to 4 tons of waste matter per day (to be collected by Western Tiers Proteins for rendering) will potentially jeopardise continued usage of the nesting sites. The construction of the facility will also occur during the height of the Wedge-tailed Eagle breeding season posing a potential disruption to the courtship displays, laying and nesting of the birds who will utilise the afore-mentioned nesting sites. The sudden disturbance in the area relating to construction and ongoing operations may result in an endangered species being prevented from breeding. The rights of these birds to maintain existing nesting sites and engage in breeding undisturbed must be given precedence over the proposed project.

3. The Great Forester River runs along the northern boundary of the property. This river is a known habitat for the threatened Duck-billed Platypus and the endangered Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Crayfish. Both species have been negatively affected by habitat degradation caused by industry including animal agriculture. The Freshwater Lobster Recovery Plan of 2006/2010 identified the Great Forester River as containing good habitat quality and good populations of this unique species, and the Tasmania Platypus Management Plan listed agricultural threats to platypuses including fecal contamination resulting in degraded aquatic habitats. The development application lists various strategies designed to minimise the impacts of run off on animal and plant species, however the risk of runoff especially during construction is considered apparent. Given the status and the fragility of these species any and all developments that elevate potential risks must be considered unacceptable for the area irrespective of the theoretical mitigation plans.

4. A key component of the proposal is the perceived higher welfare standards to be incorporated into the facility design and welfare outcomes associated with shorter travel distances. However there appears to be a significant flaw as regards travel distances as the facility will also be utilised by pig producers across the state. Whilst those pigs killed for Scottsdale Pork will no longer be subjected to hours-long journeys to slaughter, hundreds more per week from other businesses will now be subjected to extensive travel times. The establishment of this facility does not prevent the compromising of animal welfare via travel times, it merely relocates the destination.

5. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention 6 in every 10 known infectious diseases affecting humans are spread through contact with non-human animals, and 3 in every 4 new or emerging infectious diseases in humans come from contact with non-human animals. The potentially catastrophic impacts on the human community by zoonotic diseases is currently demonstrated by the ongoing covid-19 pandemic. This is compounded by the recent discovery of a new strain of influenza amongst pigs farmed for their flesh in China that has spread to humans and has been recognised by researchers as having the potential to cause another pandemic. The construction of a new pig slaughterhouse in Tasmania expands the opportunity for producers to breed more pigs for slaughter thus increasing herd numbers and the potential for disease outbreaks to occur that could pose a significant threat to public health and safety. In the current climate it would be irresponsible of any government body to approve of a plan with these associated risks.

6. Finally we must question the fundamental ethics of constructing a new facility dedicated to the killing of sentient beings in Tasmania. According to figures taken from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia slaughters well in excess of 600 million non-human land animals every year. This violence is often hidden behind claims of better welfare standards. The development application by Ten Mile Enterprises appeals to notions of improved standards of slaughter in an attempt to humane-wash an industry that by necessity relies upon the infliction of violence against unwilling victims. As Dinesh Wadiwel (The War Against Animals) states:
“The scale by which we kill and harm animals would seem to confirm that our relationship with animals is combative or at least focused upon producing harm and death.”
This project will only serve to increase the capacity for producers in the state to kill animals, and as such stands as a sad indictment on our dysfunctional relationship with all animals.

We thank you for your consideration of our comments in opposition to the proposed Ten Mile Enterprises project.


Regards,
Animal Liberation Tasmania

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SCOTTSDALE PORK: THE HUMANE-WASHING OF KILLING CONTINUES

Humane (adj.): marked by compassion, sympathy, or consideration for humans or animals.
Humane-washing (verb): the act of appealing to notions of that which is humane as a marketing strategy.

Scottsdale Pork are proposing the construction of a $2.5 million pig slaughterhouse at Springfield in the state’s north-east. The facility will have the capacity to kill at least 1000 pigs per week, producing an estimated 9 tonnes of pig flesh per day and 2-4 tonnes of organic waste including fecal matter and organic solids such as offal (the latter to be on-sold to Western Tiers Proteins rendering plant).

It is frequently said that nothing that happens in a slaughterhouse can ever be truly considered humane. However this does not stop businesses such as Scottsdale Pork from appealing to the broader community’s concerns for animal welfare as a means to package their product in a more appealing manner and to justify a premium price. Their website is glossy and picturesque, using phrases such as “paddock-bred”, “nourished and sheltered”, “eco-shelter” after which they encourage visitors to their website to “taste the difference”; by connecting higher “welfare” standards with the taste of the product itself, the company simultaneously cuts out the crucial step of slaughter, a reality which consumers rarely wish to confront. The pigs themselves are relegated to being a product.

In proposing this slaughterhouse, Scottsdale Pork have had to lay bare to interested members of the public the truth of the inner workings of a slaughterhouse. As part of the development application the full process for the slaughtering of the pigs, from unloading to killing, from scalding to packaging, has had to be detailed thus opening the processes to public scrutiny. The proposed method of stunning will be the electrocution of restrained pigs, who will then be tipped onto a conveyor belt where their throats will be cut (sticking) and they will be bled out before entering the scalding tank. It makes for harrowing reading.

Even here the company has attempted to present this process through a “humane” lens. Included in the proposal is a short paragraph detailing the considerations made for animal welfare. These include the design of the facility, the density of pigs in the holding pens, and the monitoring of stress through the levels of squealing observed. There is a vague reference to Scottsdale Pork’s “understanding” of humane handling practices, followed by claims the company will “consider the recommendations of the US livestock handling specialist Temple Grandin” in the design (note: they do not commit to actually implementing these recommendations, they will merely “consider” them).

Temple Grandin is best known for her work in redesigning slaughterhouses to minimise stress in non-human animals. She has asserted that it is ethically acceptable to use animals, so long as it s “done right.” However, Grandin has also stated that there are no differences between the core emotional systems in the brains of humans and non-human animals, exposing a glaring contradiction in even her conceptualisation of a “humane” slaughterhouse.

According to Scottsdale Pork, the holding pens will not be filled to capacity, thus the pigs will be able to turn around. But where will they turn to? They will still be goaded, potentially through the use of electrified prods, into a restraint to be electrocuted and then killed. Nor do claims of higher animal welfare due to shorter travelling distances hold water; the proposed facility will be used to provide a “reliable and efficient kill service for all pig producers.” (Development Application, P. 19). It is not exclusively for pigs bred and raised at the Scottsdale Pork farm; whilst the pigs they use will experience shorter travel times to slaughter, others across the state will not.

At the end of the day, for all the talk of welfare and ethics, the Ten Mile Track facility is just another medium-volume animal killing factory. The efficacy of the processes utilised will be wholly dependent upon human application and subject to human error. And as we have seen in the past, when human error (or outright maliciousness) in slaughterhouses leads to violations of animal welfare regulations, government departments are disinclined to act. Indeed, the Tasmanian Liberal government is more inclined towards funding the expansion of animal exploitation industries than investigating where necessary.

The Ten Mile Track proposal is not the state-of-the-art humane facility the proponents have attempted to promote it as. It is simply another addition to the increasingly successful humane-washing of an industry that is wholly dependent upon the negation of the inherent rights of non-human animals and the violent taking of their lives.

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A GUIDE TO WRITING A SUBMISSION ON DEVELOPMENT APPLICATIONS

Government authorities will consider any and all comments received for development proposals. However those which address specific aspects of a proposal in a methodical and reasoned manner will be considered in a higher regard than those that are based purely on emotions.

If you do intend to submit comments to the Dorset Council regarding the Ten Mile Enterprises proposal for a pig slaughterhouse, please read the following guidelines we have prepared to give you an appropriate framework.

1. Include your full name and contact details, with the understanding that submissions may be made publicly available. If there is information you would rather remain private, make sure to state this clearly with your submission.

2. State the title of the proposal, the business and the business owner. Eg: Scottsdale Pork Abattoir, Ten Mile Enterprises, Daniel Unwin.

3. Define which aspects of the proposal you are opposed to or have concerns regarding. Eg: proposed method of stunning/slaughter, impacts of fecal ponds and irrigation on surrounding waterways/forests and flora/fauna, creation/storage and cartage of one tonne of offal per day.

4. If you identify any inconsistencies within the development application, request they be addressed. Eg: operating times, slaughter capacity.

5. Do include your objections on the basis of non-human animal rights, clearly defining the differences between rights and welfarism; Ten Mile Enterprises have stated clearly in the development application that “animal welfare” is of importance to their project, including references to Temple Grandin. However do try to be factual rather than emotive.

6. Submit your comments to dorset@dorset.tas.gov.au by end of business 10/7/2020.

Thank you for taking the time to voice your objections to the creation of yet another killing facility in lutruwita/tasmania. Together we can show there is strong opposition across the broader community to this proposal and future proposals of this nature.

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NOTICE OF AGM

Animal Liberation Tasmania welcomes interested parties to the 2020 AGM.

Date and time: 11/7/2020 @ 12:30pm

Location to be announced (central nipaluna/hobart area). Meeting will be held in accordance with social distancing guidelines.

Please note: only current members are able to vote or nominate for positions. Visit this page to update/register as a member.

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Talking Point Response (Animal Liberation Tasmania) “We’ll stop – if Industry agrees to transparency” – Animal activists

Animal Liberation Tasmania would like to offer a formal comment to address statements made by Jan Davis in her opinion piece, Protest without breaking the law. (Talking Point, The Mercury, August 16).

 

Firstly, much of this opinion piece is centred around the theme of “what about the children.” This is despite there not being one single recorded case of a child encountering an investigative activist inside a piggery, battery farm or slaughterhouse, nor of an activist entering a farmer’s home. Indeed, the media and community outrage should such a thing ever occur would not only be deafening, it would be justified.

 

What has been recorded, however, are hundreds of individual and collective acts of animal cruelty within these facilities. Aussiefarms.org.au contains files, images and footage from 14 slaughterhouses, over 40 piggeries, 12 broiler chicken farms, four egg farms and hatcheries, two rabbit farms, two duck farms and one turkey farm. Two of those slaughterhouses listed are local Tasmanian operators, Gretna Meatworks and Tasmanian Quality Meats in Cressy.

This is irrefutable evidence of animal cruelty within the animal production and slaughtering industries, adding to an extensive body of evidence collected over decades of activist-led investigations.

 

Ms. Davis also raises the concern of disease transmission. Again, there has been no case in which a disease outbreak in an animal agricultural facility has been attributed to activists.

Furthermore, countless investigations have uncovered the filthy conditions farmed animals are often forced to endure, examples of which can be seen on the Aussie Farms website. Perhaps Ms. Davis should take her concerns over disease transmission to the producers themselves, who allow this poor animal husbandry to occur despite it being a known risk factor for disease outbreaks.

 

One thing Ms. Davis is correct about is her assertion that farmers and abattoirs are facing increased scrutiny by activists and protesters. This is because consumers deserve to know the truth. Not the “truth” promoted by the industries themselves, with happy animal labelling, slick TV adverts and online campaigns. Not the “truth” that promotes the increased consumption of animal products through industry-funded research.

 

The actual truth.

 

Animal agricultural practices necessitate cruelty to animals at the most fundamental level. And as we have too often seen, the regulations that are supposedly designed with animal welfare in mind are frequently applied loosely, or are entirely ignored with flagrant disregard, even in the presence of on-site CCTV cameras.

 

Ms Davis emphasises her trust in the law, however it has been proven time and again that approaching the police, DPI or RSPCA are not effective methods to addressing issues of animal cruelty within these facilities. First, much of that which is uncovered is industry standard practice, and as such would not be of interest to the relevant authorities. In fact, not only are many of these practices legal, they are endorsed by the RSPCA as being “humane” or at least “less cruel” than other options. Furthermore, when breaches are uncovered, there is no penalty for the perpetrators.

Taking Tasmania as a specific example, the DPI has utterly failed to act on the allegations of animal cruelty at Gretna Meatworks (October 2016) and Tasmanian Quality Meats (December 2016). Indeed, it is looking increasingly likely that no action whatsoever is to be taken, despite clear breaches of the Animal Welfare Act (1993) being documented. And RSPCA Tasmania cannot investigate cases of this size and nature, due to their Memorandum of Understanding with the DPI.

 

This leaves us with the consumer, as Ms. Davis so rightly points out, as being the most effective motivator for change. But how can the consumer trust an industry that operates behind closed doors? How are they able to make informed choices based only on information provided to them by an industry with a vested interest in maintaining continued consumption? Lack of industry transparency is the reason this discussion is needed to be had at all.

 

It is too easy to forget that at the heart of all this are the animals. The 700 million who face the knife in Australia annually, and the millions more who are kept for laying or breeding purposes in facilities across Australia. Beings who despite their proven ability to think, feel and suffer (as acknowledged by the very existence of welfare regulations) are regarded as little more than units of production, profit margins and barcodes.

 

Ms Davis reassures us that society will progress such that what activists protest now will one day not be acceptable, but how can she imagine this will happen if she wants the very catalyst of this progression to be stopped?

Activists and protesters will continue to advocate not only for the welfare of these animals, but for their inherent rights. Not out of any misguided sense of legal impunity or maliciousness towards farmers, and certainly not for any financial gain. But because no one else is taking their lives and voices into consideration.

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The Melbourne Cup

As everyone would know, today Australia celebrates the race that stops a nation, the Melbourne Cup.

We could talk about Red Cadeaux, Admire Rakti, Araldo and Verema, the four horses whose lives were ended at the last three Melbourne Cups.

We could talk about the 132 lesser known horses killed on track between August 1 2015 and July 31 2016 alone.

We could talk about the thousands of horses linked to the racing industry whose lives are ended in knackeries around Australia, mere wastage from an inherently wasteful industry. Horses like Nature’s Child, whose gruesome end was uncovered by an investigation into Laverton knackery in 2012.

We could talk about the shockingly high rate of Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Haemorrhage (bleeding into the lungs, throat and in extreme cases sinuses) uncovered in a University of Melbourne study, with a staggering 90% of horses showing signs of EIPH post-race.

We could talk about the strain placed on the still developing bodies of two-year-old horses being trained and raced, leading to increased risks of potentially fatal injury and illness later in their lives.

We could talk about the ethics of Australians spending millions of dollars on gambling and alcohol to watch these animals being whipped around a track at breakneck speed, merely for our own personal entertainment.

Instead, we will wish for all the horses (and their riders) to come through today’s race unscathed, and hope they are all fortunate enough to never see the inside of a knackery.

And we remind you all that when you support the races, when you place your bets, you are literally gambling with the lives of sentient beings who deserve so much better than what most of the animals used by the animal exploitation industries will receive.

www.horseracingkills.com

www.animal-lib.org.au/…/animals-for-enterta…/horse-racing

www.horseracingkills.com/undercover-knackery-invest…

www.animalsaustralia.org/issues/horse_racing.php