Animal surveillance bill defeated in SA parliament

South Australian parliament has rejected a bid to pass the Surveillance Devices Bill.

Set up in a similar fashion to the North American AG-GAG legislation, the Surveillance Devices Bill had sought to prohibit the use of hidden surveillance and other recording devices in animal production facilities.

The move has been welcomed by animal welfare group Voiceless, who have been working to block the proposed legislation over the past year, the Weekly Times reports.

“Voiceless has been working hard over the last 12 months to fight the introduction of these dangerous laws which would hide the truth about how animals are raised on factory farms by silencing advocates and stifling transparency,” a statement from the group read.

“This is a win for consumer advocacy, workers’ rights, freedom of the press and, of course, animal protection.”

The decision in South Australia is in contrast to speculation that the Victorian government will be looking to strengthen measures against animal activists.

“The (Victorian) Government has been considering workable measures that can be introduced to give legitimate farming business protection against unlawful activism,” a spokeswoman for Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh told The Weekly Times yesterday.

The Victorian government first committed to strengthen protection for farmers from trespassing animal activist groups in 2010. Walsh says that the election promise has not been forgotten and that the government will “have some more things to say around the right to farm”.


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