By Dominique Tassell
Brad King, the founder of Farm Animal Rescue, has defended his organisation’s petition against the McDougall and Sons Sales in Warwick.
Initial criticism included that the group had somehow broken the law obtaining footage and that the footage was doctored or outdated.
He says that the saleyards are a public place and therefore those who obtained the footage did nothing wrong.
He says the footage in the video was obtained between February 2020 and May 2021, with the footage of chickens and pigs taken in May of this year.
In response to Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Rural Communities Minister Mark Furner’s comments previously reported in Warwick and Stanthorpe Today, Mr King says that Farm Animal Rescue does pass some things immediately onto the department, however sometimes wants to provide a larger amount of evidence.
He says the department hasn’t successfully convicted anyone in 10 years, and the group believed that there were multiple problems, not just a singular issue, at the McDougall and Sons Sales.
In response to Member for Southern Downs James Lister’s comments both online and in a previous Warwick and Stanthorpe Today article, Mr King says that Farm Animal Rescue’s only involvement in the Yangan incident was being called in to take custody of three sheep.
Mr King states that his organisation was not involved in planning that particular protest, nor the other protests referenced by Mr Lister.
Warwick Police confirmed that Farm Animal Rescue was not initially involved in the protest, and were called in to take custody of the sheep.
Mr Lister says that any evidence against McDougall and Sons should have been immediately handed over to the relevant authorities, such as the Queensland Department of Agriculture or RSPCA who could then investigate.
Mr Lister has spoken out against the group multiple times, including criticising the state government for awarding them a $35,000 grant.
Mr King states that his organisation received the grant to build and improve their adoption facility at their sanctuary in Dayboro.
They rescue farm animals who have been subjected to “abuse, abandonment, and neglect”.
Mr King says the government is very strict about what the grant can be used for, and they have to submit invoices to show the money is being used for appropriate things.
The animal care and protection act is currently under review, and Farm Animal Rescue has formed a consortium with Animal Liberation, Animals Australia, and the Animal Justice Party to help review it.
Mr King says it’s “really, really important” for Queensland laws to meet the standards set not only by other states but by the rest of the world.
In response to the criticism of Warwick residents, Mr King says that there are two saleyards in Warwick and the organisation is only raising concerns about one.
While he believes most saleyards have issues, he says it’s “nothing in comparison to what we’re seeing here”.
He says his organisation has raised their concerns with McDougall and Sons before.