Animal Cruelty Legislation Needs To Consider 1080 Effects
The Government needs to include the wilful cruelty associated of 1080 drops when considering the animal welfare bill the National caucus has agreed to fast track, according to the Soil & Health Association of New Zealand.
Originally an intended private member’s bill of National MP Simon Bridges, the bill seeks to raise the maximum imprisonment penalty for wilful ill-treatment of animals under section 28 of the Animal Welfare Act 1999.
“This Act is about knowingly ill-treating animals in a particularly gruesome way, and 1080 poison drops do exactly that,” said Soil & Health – Organic NZ spokesperson Steffan Browning.
Taken from Mr Bridges website, “Section 28 creates the most serious offence in relation to animals and prohibits the wilful ill-treatment of an animal where the animal is permanently disabled, or dies, or the pain or distress caused to the animal is so great that it is necessary to destroy the animal in order to end its suffering.”(1)
“This is about sending a message that Parliament thinks this offending is abhorrent to our society. It’s more than not ok, it’s an outrage,” Mr Bridge had added.
Agriculture Minister David Carter has said he would consider whether the bill should be widened to make the Animal Welfare Act work better, and that increasing incidences of animal cruelty were “horrifying” many New Zealanders. Labour leader Phil Goff said at the weekend he supported Mr Bridges’ bill.
“Mr Bridges, and the Members of Parliament from most parties that have quickly supported his move, were motivated by recent animal cruelty episodes actioned by one or two people,” said Mr Browning.
“However decisions to knowingly inflict hideously long painful deaths on numerous animals from rodents, rabbits and possums, to pigs, deer, goats and birds by the use of large scale poison drops, are also conscious decisions by small groups of people.”(2)
“Animal welfare must be dealt with as a societal responsibility and all animals need the same protection from human induced cruelty whether it be at the hands of a small child, psychopathic individual, insensitive farmer or zoo operator, or pest control operator.”(3)
“1080 and several other poisons currently in use are slow and indiscriminate killers which need to be urgently phased out as alternatives to their use exist. To continue to knowingly cause a tortuous death when an alternative exists is likely to also meet the parameters of section 28 of the Animal Welfare Act 1999.”(4)
Soil & Health has a vision of an Organic 2020 where animal welfare meets the highest ethical standards.