THE mistreatment of any animal is something that provokes strong reaction in the community.
Often the mistreatment of livestock in abattoirs is revealed by those that use clandestine methods to get evidence of animal abuse.
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce is pushing to introduce “ag-gag” laws to stop what he calls such “vigilantes”.
His push for harsher penalties to deter animal activists comes soon after two workers at Corowa abattoir Rivalea were sacked after the release of footage of a pig being prodded and kicked.
Rivalea was quick to act against the employees. It could only be described as a good thing that the cruel behaviour by the employees was discovered and then promptly dealt with.
Cracking down on those that wish to reveal the unjust treatment of animals may be the wrong focus. After all, those that are passionate about the welfare of animals are very unlikely to be deterred by the possibility of punishment.
As Wodonga Abattoirs and Rendering director Matthew McPhee pointed out yesterday, the focus must be on ensuring animal cruelty does not exist in the first place.
His business has its own cameras to monitor animal treatment, which would seem to be a very smart work practice.