South Australia has reintroduced the Surveillance Devices Bill, a proposed law which is consistent with US style “ag-gag” legislation. The Bill seeks to criminalise the release of information derived from unlawful surveillance to the public, including a maximum penalty of $75,000 for a corporation and $15,000 or imprisonment for 3 years for individuals who use, communicate or publish material collected through the use of surveillance devices.
This Bill could have a significant impact on how media organisations and news services report on all matters of public interest, including the farming of animals for food in Australia.
Similarly, the NSW Government has called for public comment on proposed reforms to strengthen existing biosecurity laws in the state and the NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson MP and Federal Agriculture Minister, Senator Barnaby Joyce announced at a Nationals conference this month that they would use the proposed reforms to introduce laws to target animal activists that use undercover surveillance publish information derived from such surveillance to the public.
Aust state and federal governments do not want the public to know what is happening in live export facilities, on some farms and in some abattoirs. So instead of acknowledging and addressing the problems to ensure appropriate animal care and treatment in addition to giving consumers confidence, our pollies are hell bent on covering it all up. And just what if the illegal surveillance turns up child abuse, aged-care abuse etc...do we lock up those whistleblowers also?
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/animals/animal-cruelty-activists-targeted-by-tough-new-biosecurity-measures-20140615-zs8jt.html#ixzz3653zdm1O