Furner denies inaction over abattoir, instead says Perrett should resign
AG MINISTER Mark Furner has rejected claims his department ignored nine separate reports about animal welfare at the Caboolture abattoir before the damning ABC report into the treatment of retired racehorses.
“If anyone should resign it is Mr Perrett,” Mr Furner said in response to calls from Gympie MP and opposition spokesman for agriculture Tony Perrett that Mr Furner resign or that the Premier stand him down following the revelation.
“On such a serious matter, Mr Perrett has not even sought a briefing – even though this government has launched an inquiry into the allegations,” he said.
“As I said in the House - As this is an ongoing investigation, I can advise the House that there were six horse related referrals in 2017 involving 16 horses, six of those in 2018 involving 12 horses and eight in 2019 involving 14 horses.
“There have been five cases in 2019, including the cattle case, relating to animals in poor condition considered unfit to load and three cases relating to animals suffering injuries either occurring during transit or prior to transit. Six cases have been investigated and have been finalised. Two cases are still under investigation and details of four of the cases were referred to interstate jurisdictions to follow up.
“We take animal welfare seriously in Queensland – and reports are followed up.
“Mr Perrett is politicising this abhorrent event and is being misleading and should resign.”
Federal Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie detailed in Senate Estimates that her departmental vet had referred nine separate reports into animal welfare from the Caboolture abattoir facility to Mr Furner’s department.
Mr Perrett this week called for Annastacia Palaszczuk to stand Mr Furner down after “he failed to justify the inaction in Parliament”.
“Labor’s Mark Furner has turned his back on his responsibility to protect animal welfare in Queensland,” Mr Perrett said.
“It’s completely unacceptable that Mark Furner’s department received nine reports about these issues and failed to deal with them.
“This horrendous mistreatment should never have happened and Labor are trying to cover it up.
“Labor’s Mark Furner should resign immediately and the Palaszczuk Labor Government needs to come clean on why they neglected their objective to ensure racing animals are cared for before, during and after racing.”