- Jul 6, 2010View Source
Re: [NRanimallaw] Re: Grant info and workshop raveI agree generally with Amber’s comments. Since I wasn’t able to participate in the meeting I just wanted to add some thoughts.
The ideas for workshop 1 are great – the topic is highly relevant, will obviously generate a lot of interest in the local area and many of the issues bear greater scrutiny than they usually receive.
Factory/ethical farming - as Amber rightly points out it could be quite a delicate process to balance frank coverage of the issues with the need to think strategically. This one would need a lot of careful planning. I do think that we should find a way to deal with it, though - it is a topic that certainly needs attention especially given the numbers of animals involved in agriculture and the scale of suffering involved in certain practices.
I think that workshop ideas 3, 4 and 5 are particularly interesting. The scope of 5 may or may not be able to include some critical legal theory including parallels with rights/reform/social justice movements in other areas (eg abolition of slavery, women’s rights, environmental protection and standing). However, it’s possible that taking the workshop in that direction might narrow the focus so much that you’d only get 5 or so people there.
On 3/07/10 11:54 AM, "flyinthruworlds" <amber.legaleagle@...> wrote:
Hi everyone, here's my feedback on this weeks discussions...
1. Companion animals and wildlife - how to balance their interests. I think Anna's idea of focusing on local issues is a good one and that Lorraine's idea of wildlife does that to some degree. Like Anna, I would not want the workshop to be an environmental protection workshop. I think that there are enough provisions in the Companion Animals Act and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act to cover the matrix between companion animals and wildlife without moving too far into the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act. Likewise environmental protection by nature is based on species as a whole whereas animal protection is based on protection of individual animals. Some of the provisions I wanted Joe Monks (LCC ranger) to talk about were to cover some of these responsibilities. I think it would be good to also delve into some of the PoCtA provisions and perhaps deliberate on developing creative ways to protect native animals under PoCtA that are currently largely ignore d or overlooked. Importantly, such a workshop would serve to educate us how PoCtA can work for non-domestic animals. I think this is important because often native animals are perceived to be protected only under environmental legislation. I don't think this is the case and I would like to see more actions protecting native animals under PoCtA. Likewise I think such a workshop might start to shift the species approach to animal protection (environmentalism) toward an individual approach.
2. Ethical farming practices may or may not serve our purposes. I think that we need to think strategically about this because it is my belief that we need to build bridges, we need to bring farmers onboard with animal protection. Perhaps the best way for this topic to proceed, if indeed it does, would be to bring farmers together to speak. Let different farmers tell us what they do, why they do it and discuss areas that they may increase welfare. However, we should be mindful to duplicate as little as possible. Recall that Animal Liberation looks at farming practices, lobbies on this platform, gets some great wins and have a much bigger budget than we do. I would want to see Animal Liberation kicking the tin ($$$) if we were to run a workshop dedicated to factory farming or agriculture in general. As such I think a workshop like this one should be in partnership with Animal Liberation and should be very strategically planned.
3. 'What can I do?' workshop. I think this is a good one. I would like this one to focus on consumer action rather then when to ring 000 or the RSPCA. Consumer action is powerful and any change is done so largely because of changes in demand for products and supply of $$$$. Just letting people know that when they buy pork products they are probably investing in caged cruelty is a powerful educator. Similarly, the more people ask their local butchers, supermarkets and shops for vegetarian products, free range products and other products that are not produced with high levels of cruelty will add to the waves that will crush cruelty and the attendant passive acceptance of it. If people knew that soft leather from China was a result of skinning animals alive would they so readily buy such products? Likewise we could expand the discussion to include laws regarding misleading or deceptive conduct, false representations, labelling laws and issues and continue to build general awareness of marketing strategies and advertising puffery. Let people know that embedded in the market theory of consumerism is the assumption of 'perfect knowledge'... which of course is false... until we run a workshop! :-) This topic could also include local activism such as lobbying local government for greater animal protections eg implementing anti-animal circus policies, reducing the development consents for factory farming and generally building up the protectionist capital within local government via local community. However perhaps the local community activism could be dedicated to another topical workshop in itself.
4. Fact finding and evidence gathering workshop. Perhaps a general workshop on gathering evidence would be handy. I have spoken to countless people who see what they think is cruelty but when i ask key questions they cannot describe or identify key facts or when i ask specific evidencial questions they find that what they thought was happening was actually mistaken. Eg an allegation that a solo horse is continually tethered is misplaced with evidence of fresh horse poo throughout the paddock or tracks of fresh hoof prints. If the RSPCA receives approx 11,000 complaints per year and prosecute only 200 perhaps some of the issues are evidential. I believe that they are.
5. The politics and paradigms of animal protection. This workshop could explore the different philosophical paradigms inherent in animal protection. This will serve to show the community how the fundamental ways we think about animals and their relationships with humans is key to understanding what is happening and how to change it. This will also serve to educate those who believe, or allege themselves to take an animal rights perspective, to understand the RSPCA welfarist perspective compared to the Peter Singer welfarist perspective that Mark Pearson was talking about. It will also highlight that many of those who think they are taking an animal rights perspective are not. Understanding how we think, how decision makers think is, I believe, key to animal protection and law reform.
Workshops structure generally: Given the work the last workshop took, and given my increasing workload beyond this committee, I could not in good conscience support a workshop that was more than 3 hours unless we had a paid coordinator. I would rather see no workshop than one that was poorly run or poorly attended and I would not attach my name to one that was poorly run. I could support a full day workshop (more like a conference) that was done in partnership with SCU's animal law workshops (probably in Dec 2010) and that had significant sponsorship contributions that could cover some of the costs inherent in a full day workshop. Knowing how much work this takes and knowing that I could not commit to such a venture at this point, I would suggest we continue with 2-3 hour workshops.
Ange, let me know if and when you need fresh eyes for the application form.
--- In NRanimallaw@yahoogroups.com <mailto:NRanimallaw%40yahoogroups.com> , "Angela Pollard" <angela_pollard@...> wrote:
> Hi folks , the grant application requires info on the committee members
> that will be helping with the project.
> I need to do a short rave in the application and attach cvs.
> So could folks send me their cvs and either send me a short paragraph
> about themselves (eg animal inteests , skills and abilities to do with the
> project) or I will do it based on cvs receieved. Need be mid next week
> For my five cents worth on the workshops:
> Practical Workshops:
> I vote for the responsible companion animal ownership re wildlife (need
> others to give me dot points as to what this would entail) Is irt
> enoughfor a two hour workshop?
> I wouild like to pitch for a practical workshop something like: "what can
> I do?" which could cover for eg ethical purchasing, minimum standards for
> companion, livestock, factory animal welfare and what to keep an eye on in
> your neighborhood/ village ( chanied dogs, habitat, tree felling, horses
> in paddocks etc) . What to do if the RSPCA doesnt follow up my
> The debates:
> Is there sch a thing as ethical animal farming?
> Are there really feral animals or only feral humans?
> But I am happy to go with the majority - I want to do EVERTHING!!
> cheers ange
> Angela Pollard
> Regional Coordinator, NRCLSD
> Centre Manager
> Northern Rivers CLC
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> Fax: 66211011
> Email: Angela_Pollard@...
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