Indigenous Animal Cruelty: Where Is The Outrage ?!

‘Activist Rupert Imhoff spent a fortnight in the Torres Strait, filming the hunting of the turtles and dugongs, both listed as vulnerable to extinction.

He used a secret camera to film scenes of animal cruelty, including the slow death of a sea turtle.

Traditional owners are allowed to hunt dugongs and sea turtles under the Native Title Act.

Environmental activist Rupert Imhoff says if it happened anywhere else in Australia, the hunters would be subject to harsh penalties under animal cruelty laws…’

Allowing Aboriginal hunters to engage in acts of animal slaughter in the name of indigenous culture is not new. Indeed, this licence to cruelty is implied in the Native Title Act which sets out a specific exemption to the animal welfare laws for those practices which are deemed part of Aboriginal culture.

The images above are not even the most cruel forms of indigenous hunting practices that I have seen. Without access to refrigeration Aboriginal hunters seek to immobilize the animal and keep it alive for longer to prevent the meat from spoilage. This is done by either breaking the animal’s neck or breaking the back legs.

The professional animal advocates so vocal against duck shooting or jumps racing are conspicuously silent on this subject, which begs the question – is there State-sanctioned animal cruelty in the name of Aboriginal culture?!

So next time you are watching the protesters profess their outrage at one of the fashionable animal cruelty causes ask yourself – is there just a little hypocrisy in their claims!

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About Dr Vadim Chelom

Dr Vadim Chelom is a Registered Veterinarian, a writer and an educator

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