Referendum To Put The Spotlight On Cruelty
Friends of Sherwood are asking that the following question be put to all voters: “Should New Zealand stop using all cruel and inhumane poisons, such as 1080, brodifacoum, and PAPP, to kill wildlife because these toxic substances inflict intense and prolonged, unjustifiable suffering on all animals, including native birds, pets and livestock.”
Despite falling well short of getting signatures from the required 10% of eligible voters, within a year of the question being gazetted, hope is still alive for it to become a Citizens Initiated Referendum in the September election, now that the Clerk of the House has today officially declared that the petition has lapsed, they have 2 months to bring the total up to the required 325,500 petitioners.
The SPCA has publicly spoken out against the use of 1080 and other cruel poisons on many occasions, and on 7th January 2019 publicly stated that,
"The RNZSPCA is against the use of poisons to kill animals due to the level of suffering they cause, as well as the nature of their use. We would like to see a ban on the use of poisons such as 1080 because these substances cause such intense and prolonged suffering that we believe their use can never be justified."
Friends of Sherwood Trustee Tricia Cheel says,
"We hope that all the animal welfare groups throughout the country will now take up the baton, on behalf of the thousands of animals suffering the effects of these cruel poisons, and unleash their armies of volunteers to help collect the signatures ecessary to trigger the referendum in time for the general election later this year..
We’ve had volunteers out all over New Zealand for months collecting signatures, and thought we were getting very close but it is a massive task, and we continue to be obstructed, attacked, and saboutaged, by poison supporters, and the media who appear to be afraid of airing the issue.”
We have a Prime Minister promoting kindness and compassion. Animals are sentient beings under our laws and the hypocrisy of torturing animals this way is gaining attention overseas from commentators such as Marc Bekoff, Ph.D. of the University of Colorado who has written extensively of the situation in New Zealand and expressed his concern about the effect programmes such as Predator Free 2050 is having on our children, and the fact that New Zealand has the highest rates of family violence in the developed world.
He has written, 'With what is known about the extent of domestic abuse in New Zealand (and elsewhere), it's extremely important to pay serious attention to how early training that encourages the killing of nonhuman animals might continue to be displayed when these or other youngsters become adults, and how killing other animals, sanctioned by educators and school systems, will play out and be transmitted to future generations who might adopt these perverse values'.
Cheel shares his concern and says: 'These poisons cause cruel and inhumane deaths in wildlife, pets, farmed stock and deer. Many New Zealanders find this extremely distressing and are concerned about the mixed messages this is sending our children about compassion and kindness'
Bob Kerridge, who was with the SPCA for 32 years, and was promoted to Officer of NZ Order of Merit for Services to Animal Welfare & Governance, in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, 2018, adds his voice to the call for the question to be put to all voters, expressing particular concern about PAPP being used to target cats. As he says 'Unbelievably, cats are the latest animal to be selected as a targeted predator which will astound and horrify most people. Especially for cats, paraminopropiophenone, or PAPP, is as hideous as 1080 and starts a process of dying which is inhumane & painfully slow. The persecution of cats, the country’s most popular and adored companion animal, is as unfathomable as it is without foundation. PREDATOR FREE-2050 is creating a generation who "find killing weirdly addictive". Such a trend is deeply disturbing.'
The referendum will give all kiwis a chance to agree, or not with Dr Jane Goodall, world renowned conservationist, when she says "There are more humane ways of dealing with 'invasive species' than 1080."
Friends of Sherwood hope that with a massive effort from all those concerned about animal welfare, that they will get that opportunity in the upcoming elections.