Animal numbers

August 2019

I write in response to the letters to the Editor, titled "Culling will fail" and "Pest animals."

Both authors are correct.

Killing and removing over-breeding species is pointless as new animals of the same species re-colonise and multiply and actually increase the original numbers.

This is a scientifically proven law of nature known as the vacuum effect and I have worked with this factual basis for controlling cat numbers for 25 years.

Philip Miller, in his letter titled, "Culling" has asked for suggestions to reduce the problem of over-breeding.

The well-known scheme is known as "Cats Assistance to Sterilise" - halved the death rate of cats at the Animal Welfare League in the 1980s within 6 years by using desex and release method. This is the only method that reduces over-breeding on both long and short term basis. It is also humane

With koalas, it has been proved that they can be sterilised and returned to their home, but unfortunately, mistakes were made as nearly a third of the sterilised koalas on Kangaroo Island, released in the South East, resulting in failure in the area. In addition, the program was not on a large enough scale to surmount the overall breeding rate.

With Corella’s, humane options were discussed at a Mt Barker meeting and these should be put into practice.

Methods of contraception have been known for decades with foxes but our government persists with using 1080 poison which causes agonising deaths and also kills non-target species, pollutes waterways and pollutes the environment.

With kangaroos, humane studies should be undertaken to ascertain the best methods of prevention of breeding. There are always alternatives to culling - but our government is not interested in using them.

It is up to us to see that it does,

B B Foster

Cruelty meted out to animals comes in a range of guises

August2019

RSPCA Qld prosecutions officer Tracey Jackson’s article “Therapy for animal abusers asked: Seriously, what does someone have to do to an animal to land themselves a bed in jail?”This article came after a student deliberately threw an innocent echidna to see “how it handled the fall”.For many years, I, too, have questioned the way animals are treated and just why animal welfare laws do not go far enough.

Farmed animals only have industry-developed “codes of practice” that support producers’ profits over any animal welfare protection.

Farmed animals are castrated, and pigs’ tails are cut off so they don’t chew each other’s tails because of the boredom of entire lives spent on cement floors in cramped conditions.

Lambs are Mulesed, chickens have their beaks seared off so they don’t peck each other and turkeys have their snoods cut off for the same reason.

This all occurs without anaesthetics and there are nerves involved with all these procedures that often never heal.

Cruelty comes in so many guises, as Tracey said, but these are just a few of the horrors routinely inflicted on animals produced in their millions for food.

Diane Cornelius

Useless laws    

August 2019

And so once again, a successfully prosecuted abuser of an animal has been given no real penalty at all. For leaving his dog with a 1kg untreated ulcerated tumour on her leg for up to two years, the owner’s penalty was the usually suspended sentence and good behaviour bond. Why do we have make-believe animal protection laws?

W. PARSONS

Protect animals

July 2019
The reporting of the issue of animal campaigners illegally trespassing on intensive animal production facilities (“ Plan to crack down on illegal protesters") reflects the difference between people concerned about animal abuse and those invested in privacy, the status quo and protecting what happens to animals in these places from exposure.
SA Attorney-General Vickie Chapman saying “It is reasonable for people to have a view and they can express it”, ignores the fact that the view expressed here is backed by animal science and animal protection groups such as RSPCA and Animals Australia. The welfare and behavioural needs of the animals are violated.
It is the cruel system itself that must be changed, as opposed to harsh punishments for those calling it out.
The proposed federal laws would do better to legislate against offences to animals.
Simone Hunter

Educate yourself

July 2019

Before criticising animal activists everyone should view the documentary "Dominion" and at least be informed.
Without trespassing, these scenes would never have been witnessed.
We need transparency and video cameras in abattoirs and factory farming.
Animals are suffering and we need whistleblowers to expose the people responsible. In September 2018 Strath Meats abattoirs were exposed for horrific cruelty and two staff members were dismissed when they should have been jailed (view part of the video on advertiser .com.au).
I salute the activists who protested.
Val Maslen

 Blinded by anger?

April 20119
The behaviour of some animal-rights activists has unleashed a torrent of anger so extreme, the reason for their activism is being ignored. 
Let us not lose sight of their message. 
As a society, we condemn cruelty and injustice, yet in the animal industries, injustice and cruelty are the norm. 
We have been cleverly duped into thinking that all is fine and dandy down on the farm, but the documentary Dominion shows a far darker and crueller side to the industry. 
Has Rex Jory (“ I support vegans – but not violent extremists.") taken the time to look it? 
In retrospect, it might have been more productive if the activists had done things differently but would it have gained any media coverage? A peaceful march two days earlier in Melbourne gained no publicity whatsoever. 
Rather than condemning the activists, shouldn’t we be condemning animal abusers? 

Jenny Moxham

Regard for animals

April 2019
I STRONGLY disagree with K.M. Ingleby and letter “Animal rights fail” (The Advertiser, 10/4/2019). 
So what if a few people are late to work? Compare this to the poor suffering animals which are artificially impregnated and imprisoned for years in pens where they can barely move; baby calves crying for their mothers encased in veal crates to be slaughtered and eaten by human beings; and terrified cattle having their throats cut in abattoirs. 
Given that the writer “enjoys” and gets “pleasure” from fishing, where fish are caught on hooks and convulse and gasp to death in pain, it is obvious that there is little regard here for our fellow creatures. 
Congratulations to these courageous protesters who expose the cruelty caused by the eating of animals’ bodies. 
Thank goodness for the huge vegan movement that is now spreading. 
CHRISTINE PIERSON

Wrong target   

April 2019 
I was appalled to read that Shooting Australia is to be given a cash grant. 
People who take pleasure in torturing and killing helpless animals should be in prison, not being encouraged. 
There is absolutely nothing sporting about armed psychopaths shooting defenceless animals. 
Janet Allan

Pet Responsibility

March 2019

I can see Lainie Anderson has attempted to add humour to her real and appalling lack of commitment to pet ownership after buying two guinea pigs because they looked “soooo cute.”  
Her husband, on the other hand, seems to be the only one in the family with any sense of responsibility. He knew the boys would not look after them. So now the guinea pigs’ fate rests with Gumtree. 
“Who wants two guinea pigs?” That’s right, Lainie, just hand them on to an unknown fate. 
Buy from a pet shop instead of adopting from a shelter, do no research on the animals’ needs at all, then just hand them on when they become inconvenient. 
It’s because of people like you, Lainie, that shelters like the RSPCA exist. Shame on you. 
W. Parsons

Mixed bag

February 2019

The last Weekender Herald carried many items about animals. Some good news, like letters requesting the end of horse racing and corella slaughter, and the appeal to end the use of the poison 1080.

But some were about unkind events, like the coming Marrabel Bull Riding, the racing of dairy cows at Mt Compass and the use of poison for fox 'control.'

I look forward to a world where animals are not abused for our entertainment or inhumanely poisoned when they are considered to be pests.

Alice Shore

Atrocities on living animals

January 2019

What monsters are we that we could commit such atrocities on living animals” Monkey see, monkey do in cloning race”

What right do we have to clone animals and inflict mental illness, depression, anxiety and horrible suffering on our fellow creatures?

How can we stand by and let the publication of these horrendously cruel findings in journals like “National Science Review” where they are “hailed as a world first by Chinese media” without showing our outrage against this evil.

We need to replace the word “humane” with another one because we can’t claim that we are a compassionate, kind, sympathetic gentle or good-natured species when we allow these wicked experiments to be conducted.

Our own Australian Government also uses our taxpayer dollars to support multiple, cruel experiments on animals and we should be protesting loudly against this as well.

Christine Pierson

Widen circle of compassion to embrace all creatures

November 2018

The thought-provoking letter by Helen Dowling “Animal cruelty like Ancient Rome” referred to research showing exposing children to violent animal cruelty in the form of entertainment teaches them nothing about kindness to earthlings.

In a world of increasing acts of uncontrolled violence, this should be our priority.

All sentient beings feel pain as we do, whether for our food, clothing, entertainment, sport or experimentation.

As Albert Einstein famously said: “Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”

Diane Cornelius

Animal cruelty like ancient Rome

November 2018

Wear a ribbon for “Peace on Earth, goodwill towards men.” 
This announcement made by the angel to shepherds watching over their sheep in the fields at night certainly was not at that time intended to extend to women. 
And to be honest we have still not achieved that goal. 
On White Ribbon Day today, people from 57 countries still wear a white ribbon to call for the elimination of violence against women. 
So what of peace and goodwill to non-human animals? 
Are there any among us who would be willing to give up meat for Christmas? We are even further from extending peace to animals. For them Christmas is every year the season of nightmare as their bodies provide a food so many humans unthinkingly crave. 
Merry Christmas to all. Peace and goodwill to you and all in your family including your animals. 
Helen Dowland

No to all violence

November 2018

Two news items caught my eye because of their connection. One concerned violence to females (Stepping out in heels to support family violence victims) and the other concerned pets (Santa meets furry friends). So how were they connected?

I’ve no doubt the majority of us - particularly those wanting a photo of their pets with Santa - regard ourselves as animal lovers. But how many of us unthinkingly support violence to animals on a daily basis - by eating them?

Seeking to end violence to women is an admirable cause, but seeking to end violence to all sentient beings is an even more admirable cause.

To condemn violence to women while endorsing violence to females - and males of other species is illogical in the extreme.

In the past it may have been necessary to kill animals for sustenance but these days we have an abundance of healthy and humanely derived nonanimal foods at our fingertips. Isn’t it time we said no to all violence?

Jenny Moxham

Protect animals 

October 2018
Paul Stevenson exactly expresses the views of animal advocates of our state’s archaic and woeful legislation failing to protect animals from human harm (“ Put animal welfare on a tighter leash") 
Damning evidence of cruelty to animals and government inaction are regular media fare. Not everyone is able to make public protests on abattoir roofs about the pigs, sheep and fowl within, as was a recent event at Strathalbyn abattoir , or publicly campaign against sport and recreational animal abuses. Or rescue our precious native ducks, callously killed and wounded in wetlands by shooters for fun, but those who do are heroes. 
What we can all do is voice our opposition to such egregious abuse to our parliamentary representatives and lobby for stronger, compassionate laws for the decent treatment of all animals. 

Simone Hunter

Chicken suffering

October 2018
Deliberately breeding birds in a manner known to cause them immense suffering should be regarded as a serious act of animal cruelty and punished accordingly. (Playing chicken with animal welfare)

Even though they are still blue-eyed babies when they reach slaughter weight at six weeks of age, almost every broiler chicken is in chronic pain due to their abnormal breeding. Many will have died in the sheds because their crippled legs prevented them from accessing food and water. Others will have died from heart disease and pulmonary oedema - a condition where their lungs fill with fluid and they slowly suffocate or "drown”.

Isn't it time we all helped end this cruelty by refusing to support this ruthless industry with our consumer dollar?.

Jenny Moxham

Animal blessing ceremony

October 2018

I'm sure the Buddhist animal blessing ceremony at Lillydale Lake (Animals get a blessing, 2/10) was a delightful event but, if we are really serious about wanting to enhance the well being of animals, the most important step we can take is to stop eating them - along with their milk and eggs.

Last year, a mind-boggling 70 billion animals -10 times the number of people on Earth - were slaughtered for food. The majority were raised in sunless, stinking factory farms inside cramped cages and pens. Many were subjected to agonizing mutilations without pain relief and many others - broiler chickens - were deliberately bred in a manner known to cause painful crippling. Around 6 billion male chicks - deemed "trash" by the egg industry - were minced up alive or suffocated.  Every single one of these animals had the same capacity for suffering as us or our pets. Given that we can live healthily and happily with no animal products in our diet, how can we justify condemning so many innocent and inoffensive animals to this torture?

Jenny Moxham

Be kind to animals

October 2018

October 1 to 7 was “Kindness to Animals Week”, including October 4: World Animal Day, the feast day of Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

Celebrated annually, it is an international day of action for animal rights and welfare, aimed at drawing attention to the suffering that we unnecessarily inflict on them, and encouraging kinder food choices.

Worldwide, uncountable tonnes of fish and 77 billion land animals are slaughtered each year.

Thomas Edison wrote: “Nonviolence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.”

Overfishing and pollution are resulting in the acidification of our oceans and large marine mammal and species loss, causing massive ecosystem damage, contributing to human health issues and animal suffering.

Diane Cornelius

Animals have capacity for suffering just like us

October 2018

I can understand T Robinson’s distress at finding his resident blue tongue lizard mauled by a cat because I accidentally ran over a lizard with the lawn mower yesterday. The poor little creature’s tail was partially severed as was his leg. I felt so bad and had to get my son to quickly end his suffering.

But this incident made me wonder how people can casually and deliberately kill bigger animals; intelligent, sensitive, life-loving cows, sheep, pigs etc with the same capacity for suffering as ourselves.

If we buy animal products, this is what we are doing, in fact, because we are paying someone else to slaughter them on our behalf.

If we had to witness the terror on the faces of these animals as they approached the killing floor, and then kill them with our own hands, would we feel differently? 

Jenny Moxham

Time to take a stand 

October 2018

WHY do we condemn violence when the victim is a member of our own species, yet condone violence when the victim is a member of a different species?

Isn’t this inconsistent? Isn’t it speciesism?

Last year we humans casually snuffed out the lives of 70 billion cows, sheep, pigs etc simply because we liked the taste of their flesh, milk and eggs.

Was this fair?

Given that October 2 was World Day for Farmed Animals it seems like a fitting time to reflect on our abysmal treatment of our gentle and inoffensive fellow beings and vow to do better.

Jenny Moxham

Disturbing words

October 2018

I found last week's column by Nick Ryan, (Sunday Mail), both appalling and disturbing. 

How can a comparison be made between a living being, in the case a goat, and a dumpling or cake?

Mr Ryan is wrong. It has been acknowledged by psychiatrists that teaching children that living beings are here for our use causes much emotional distress, especially when the animal, which will be killed, is known to the children, having been raised by them.

Small wonder there are so many angry youngsters in our communities.

But then, perhaps Mr Ryan doesn't want to live in a kinder world. Do his children?

Thank God for the animal activists, who had the courage to climb on to the roof of the Strathalbyn abattoir last week. 

They are young people who do want a kinder world.

Alice Shore

Be vigilant 

September 2018

I was horrified to read the article “Steel traps outrage as pets left to die in pain” 

vintage-steel-animal-traps-primtive_1_4b0ccbb2552b226ec48ea2a19588db46.jpg

How can anyone be so cruel as to do this to an animal. We need people to be vigilante and report anyone seen with traps to the RSPCA.

I hope someone can be found guilty of these abhorrent crimes and given the maximum penalty of four years jail.

G. Hannah

Helping animals  


September 2018

What a change to see a positive article about helping suffering animals “First class treatment for animal victims.”

Congratulations to South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management for this constructive and necessary approach to helping animals in pain and agony.

Immediate treatment is what is required and with this approach it can be achieved.

Christine Pierson