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12 May 2012

South Australians are being urged to throw their support behind the RSPCA as it fights a move before Parliament to amend the Livestock Act, which is not in the interests of animal

welfare.

The proposal, by Family First MLC the Hon Robert Brokenshire, would transfer the RSPCA’s power to protect farm animals and horses to the Department of Primary

Industries and Resources (PIRSA).

RSPCA (SA) Chief Executive Officer Neale Sutton said this would create an obvious and untenable conflict of interest.

“The Department’s primary responsibility is to protect, promote and expand the profitability of

the livestock industry,” Mr Sutton said.

“The RSPCA has no difficulty with these aims but there must be a clear separation of powers so that no organisation is asked to both promote and police the same industry.”

With a vote in Parliament potentially just days away, the RSPCA is urging supporters to take urgent action.

“We’ve placed a prominent advertisement in Saturday’s paper asking South Australians to contact Members of Parliament, urging them to vote against this proposal,” he said.

“This can be done through letter, email, telephone, personal visit, or through our website www.rspca.org.au/livestocksa

“The RSPCA is an independent, professional and highly experienced organisation.

“We have more than 100 years of history enforcing legislation that relates to the welfare of livestock and horses. We do this without fear or favour.”

The Brokenshire proposal is backed by the “Conservation Farming and Recreation Alliance (CFRA)” whose members include the SA Dairy Farmers Association, Thoroughbred Racing

SA, Sporting Shooters Association, Hellenic Shooting Sports and others.

This newly-formed Alliance has labelled the RSPCA “extremist” and “fundamentalist”.

Mr Sutton said these allegations are not only absurd but offensive – and are now the subject of

possible legal action.

“The RSPCA’s views on issues such as jumps racing, live animal exports and the shooting of our

native water birds for sport are long-held, well known and shared by most Australians,” he said.

“We will always have the best interests of animals at heart.

“That’s why will do everything in our power to defeat this proposal because it’s not what’s best

for animal welfare.”

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