The last couple of months have seen Tasmania, and the rest of the country, rocked by cases of egregious and serial animal cruelty by farmers.
Emaciated pigs with open, infested wounds
On May 8, 2009, the ABC's Stateline program showed footage of appalling cruelty to pigs on Gary William Oliver's Longerenong pig farm in the State's north. The farm was raided by activist Emma Haswell, and showed emaciated pigs in under-sized sow stalls, without water, some unable to stand because of severe abscesses and others with open wounds infested by maggots. The pig farm is a major supplier to the self-proclaimed 'fresh food people', Woolworths, which continues to deal with Oliver.
Oliver was ordered in May by the Scottsdale Magistrates Court to enter a plea to the multiple cruelty and aggravated cruelty charges by June 30, but once again failed to do so. Business as usual!
Hens stuck in manure in miniscule cages
Earlier in the month, Glen Peter Balke, of Sun Valley Poultry was convicted and heavily fined in the Hobart Magistrates Court. An audit by DPIW found hens mired in manure and crammed into cages to such an extent that they could not stand naturally.
Sadistic treatment of cattle
Roderick Neil Mitchell, a dairy farmer from Redpa in Tasmania's north west is facing about 200 charges, mostly cruelty and aggravated cruelty. The charges date back more than 2 years, yet only a handful have been dealt with. Hundreds of Mitchell's cows and calves have died in this time, from starvation, illness, neglect and sadistic cruelty. Those animals Mitchell does bother to put down, report locals, he may pick up with the sharp hay baling attachment on a tractor or front end loader to its full height then drop them.
Callous ineffective government turns blind eye to suffering
Why does Mitchell still have animals? 78 have been seized, but the authorities, and the Minister David Llewellyn, claim he cannot be stopped because he has not (yet) been convicted.
Tasmania's Premier David Bartlett promised a "kind, clever, connected Tasmania" when he became Premier. Farm animals are excluded.
For full reports, please visit www.stoptac.org.