Thanks to strong community support of my motion for a companion animal welfare Parliamentary Inquiry, the NSW Government has set up a Taskforce to reduce the destruction of unwanted pets and cruel puppy farming and backyard breeding practices.
In response to my argument that the Taskforce would not provide the same transparency as a Parliamentary Inquiry, the Minister promised public meetings. I am not aware of any plans for these public meeting and I have now been informed that the 1,400 submissions will not be made public.
There is strong community concern that the Taskforce's recommendations will be influenced by the pet industry. This makes ensuring the transparency of the process even more essential.
I have asked the Minister to publish submissions. Concerns about privacy and defamation can be addressed by erasing certain information and should not be used as an excuse to prevent public access to valuable information.
My submission on the Taskforce criticised the Discussion Paper proposals as inadequate in addressing the unacceptable rate in NSW of killing healthy companion animals.