Shooters and Animal Justice parties look at unlikely team
UNLIKELY bedfellows the Animal Justice and Shooters and Fishers parties may find early unity in NSW Parliament before the inevitable horn-locking begins.
Mark Pearson hopes so, anyway.
The Animal Justice Party leader will become the first member of any parliament under the British Crown to be elected on a solely animal rights platform when he is sworn into the NSW upper house today.
He will outline a plan to ban producers from keeping hens in battery cages during his maiden speech on Wednesday.
And he thinks Shooters and Fishers MP Robert Borsak, who has hunted and shot elephants, might get on board.
He also believes he will be able to get the numbers to have his bill become the law of the land.
"The time has come. We now have the musings from (Christian Democrats leader) Fred Nile saying he buys free range eggs," Mr Pearson said.
"We are going to lock horns with Borsak on things like him wanting hunting in national parks.
"But even he has said he is opposed to intensive caging of animals."
Mr Borsak supported a 2011 bill to tighten restrictions on free-range eggs labelling.
Mr Pearson said Labor had realised animal rights could be a vote-winning platform, and anticipated support from the Greens.
He will try to stop proposed "ag-gag" laws allowing prosecution of people who covertly set up surveillance over farms they suspect of animal cruelty, and media outlets which publicise the questionably-obtained evidence.
His coming eight-year term will also be spent trying to outlaw the commercial killing of kangaroos and to introduce compulsory school programs teaching children respect for animals.