Tamara Smith MP, Member for Ballina and NSW Greens Agricultural Spokesperson today spoke of the lost opportunity to farmers in NSW while the Nationals wage war on animal welfare activists.
Ms Smith said, “The LNP’s Right to Farm Bill was passed through the Legislative Assembly today – a law that drastically increases fines and sentences for activists who trespass on farms and forestry plantations. However, mainstream Australians are the ones who care about animal welfare not just the so-called “Vegan Vigilantes” referred to by the Minister for Agriculture in his speech to the House.”
“The recent National Report into Australia’s Shifting Mindset on Farm Animal Welfare showed that a staggering 95 % of Australians are concerned about the welfare of farm animals and only 10% think that current government regulations to protect animals are adequate.”
“The fact that animal welfare concerns are the concern of mainstream Australia is a fantastic opportunity for food growers in NSW. Instead of the Minister demonising so-called “latte sipping professionals from Double Bay”, the Nationals should be supporting farmers to realise the spending power of highly engaged consumers.”
“The Nationals are undermining food growers in this state by alienating the concerns of mainstream Australia. They should be supporting farmers to improve the condition of animals on farm, invest in new technology to replace offensive animal welfare practices and promote transparent, open and proud food labelling to promote farms that are cruelty free.”
Ms Smith said, “The national research suggests that most people when given a choice to purchase products that are cruelty free will do so. If farms were open and transparent with their communities about how their food is raised or grown their bottom line could grow exponentially whilst also alleviating the concerns of animal rights activists. This has certainly been the case in my electorate where bespoke beef and chicken and egg farmers have embraced free range and cruelty free practices and labelling.”
“It is the community perception of poor regulation and fears about animal rights abuses that leads to extreme measures.”