Last night (26/6) over 20 activists with Animal Liberation Tasmania held a candle-lit vigil outside Parliament House in honour of the animals slaughtered at Gretna Meatworks, exposed for egregious animal cruelty in October 2016.
The investigation into Gretna Meatworks has taken 20 months to conclude that no charges will be laid against the owner or the individuals working for the business, during which time the slaughterhouse has continued to operate without sanction.
“Unfortunately we are not surprised by the outcome; the animal welfare system is designed to support producers and industry, not to protect the inherent rights of non-human animals,” states Mehr Gupta, ALT Campaign Director.
“The outcome of the investigation tells us more about the ability of the DPI to investigate matters of animal cruelty than it does about the standards of the facility in question.”
In the media release announcing the conclusion of the case, DPIPWE Biosecurity General Manager Dr. Lloyd Klumpp stated that anonymously provided footage is rarely admissable in court due to the potential for editing or splicing.
“We find this statement quite interesting given that in December 2016, having been provided with footage from Tasmanian Quality Meats showing the mishandling of dairy calves and sheep, DPIPWE stated they could not review the footage as it was “too dark.” Having been provided with a version edited only to be lighter and easier to view, DPIPWE then stated they could not review this as it had been “edited,” states Kristy Alger, ALT spokesperson.
It wasn’t until May 2017 that DPIPWE opened an investigation into TQM, after the footage they initially refused to review was provided to the media, attracting nationwide interest.
ALT questions why the department would seek to publicly undermine the veracity of the footage provided from Gretna Meatworks when it was deemed enough to base an investigation upon resulting in a referral to the DPP, and given their own obstructions to the ability of individuals and organisations to provide them with footage of this nature.
Since the conclusion of the investigation Animal Liberation Tasmania has received a wealth of support from the Tasmanian community and intends to continue their campaign to bring justice to abused animals in the state.
“The State Government has let down the Tasmanian community, who overwhelmingly want to see justice for animals,” states Ms Gupta. “They have once again proved they should not be in charge of policing animal welfare.”
(Photo credits Hazel Alger)