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Farmers are 'making it possible': standing up for REAL animal welfare
5 June 2013
Australian farmers are today getting on with the job of continuously improving Australia's animal welfare, in conjunction with respected animal welfare groups, after standing up for themselves and the Australian farming sector on social media and preventing the sale of animal activist shopping bags in major retailer Coles.
NFF CEO Matt Linnegar said the decision by Animals Australia to withdraw their bags was the sensible decision, after they saw the immense negative reaction to such a sale via social media.
"Today, farmers have shown that they will not be bullied by an extremist animal activist group," Mr Linnegar said.
"Let's be very clear: Australian farmers are committed to animal welfare. Our farmers raise, care for and nurture their stock and care deeply about what happens to them. We understand that improvements need to be made, but farmers, working with respected animal welfare groups, the community and governments, will be the ones who make them.
"Improving animal welfare is about changing behaviours. This will not be achieved by a group that simply stands on the sidelines and throws stones, which Animals Australia has proven itself to be.
"As far as we are aware, they do not invest a single cent of the millions of dollars they raise on actually improving animal welfare. Where are their programs that actually help farmers improve welfare? Why aren't they investing the thousands of dollars that it will cost them to air their TV commercials on the ground in helping improve conditions for the animals they claim to defend?
"Quite simply, animal welfare marketing campaigns do not equal animal welfare outcomes.
"Critically, Australian farmers already do work with respected welfare bodies – and we will continue to do so – to ensure welfare improvements are made, and that community expectations are understood. But we will not be bullied by those organisations who do nothing but pour millions of dollars into attacking farmers and agriculture.
"The claims today that NFF ran a 'vicious campaign' are, quite simply, ridiculous – given it was this group that has been running vicious campaigns against agriculture continuously over the past few years. This was not a campaign at all: it was simply farmers mobilising to tell their own story.
"This group is obviously extremely concerned that their real agenda – to end animal agriculture in this country – has been revealed.
"Today's decision is the right decision, and both Animals Australia and Coles now have an opportunity to show their support of Australian farmers by working with them, not against them, to continuously improve animal welfare," Mr Linnegar said.
Media Enquiries: Ruth Redfern on 02 6269 5666, 0408 448 250 or
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