Who, age What Where When Last Known Address
Amanda Vanstone(1) breaching industry guidelines in a piggery

North of Adelaide, Australia

July 13, 2006  
Amanda Vanstone(2) dog bites diplomat and police officer

Rome, Italy

April 5, 2009 Adelaide, Australia
Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved Case Status Next Court Date /Courthouse
  (2)keeping a dangerous dog


(2) 1 Weimaraner

(1)charges dropped

(2)plea agreement


Piggery part-owned by the Immigration Minister, Amanda Vanstone, is breaching industry guidelines by keeping pigs in cramped conditions, animal welfare activists allege.

Animal Liberation said it lodged a complaint yesterday with South Australian police, complaining of conditions at the Wasleys piggery, near Adelaide.

Senator Vanstone said she owned shares in the piggery but had nothing to do with the running of the operation, thought to be one of the largest in the state.

She said she did not condone cruelty to animals. "I am simply one shareholder in this business," Senator Vanstone said through a spokesman. "I have nothing to do with the running of it.

"Any suggestion that I support cruelty to animals is both untrue and defamatory."

Animal Liberation's executive director, Mark Pearson, claimed Senator Vanstone had shares in the piggery worth more than $1 million, and her husband, Tony, was a director of the operation.

Mr Pearson alleged the piggery was breaching industry codes of practice by keeping pigs in severe confinement. The group released images appearing to show pigs in cages barely big enough for them to move.

"Not only are the pigs tormented by the cruelty of their confinement where they can never walk or even turn around, but they are kept in cages that are even smaller than federal regulations allow," Mr Pearson said. "An urgent, thorough and transparent investigation is crucial to ensure help is provided for these desperate animals as soon as possible."

Senator Vanstone states how she came to be involved in piggeries.  "We came into [the industry] through friends," she said. "I don't know much about pigs, but I like a ham at Christmas and I think there is nothing wrong with eggs and bacon."

Senator Vanstone holds a significant minority stake in a network of six Australian pig production companies.

Update 4/5/09:  The RSPCA has cleared a piggery part-owned by Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone of allegations it is breaching industry guidelines.

RSPCA inspectors visited the Wasleys Piggery, north of Adelaide, following claims by Animal Liberation that the pigs were being kept in cramped conditions.

The RSPCA's South Australian branch executive director Mark Peters said inspectors spent about three hours at the piggery, which houses some 30,000 pigs.

Dr Peters said the piggery was almost entirely compliant with a commonwealth code of practice.

"The only exception is that many of the stalls are smaller than the minimum size, but that part of the code is not enforceable - it's only a recommendation," he said.  "We found no breaches of the Prevention of Cruelty (to Animals) Act and no breaches of the code of practice.  "Based on our inspection, there's no action we can take (against the piggery)."

Animal Liberation earlier this week complained to SA police that images it had obtained of the piggery showed pigs in cages barely big enough for them to move.

Senator Vanstone owns shares in the piggery but has said she has nothing to do with the running of the operation and does not condone cruelty to animals.

Animal Liberation said Senator Vanstone should ensure the company followed humane procedures.

Australian Pork Farms Group, which runs Wasleys Piggery, welcomed the RSPCA's findings.  "We have always maintained high standards of animal care and any suggestion that we do not is completely unfounded," group chairman Ian Parish said.

"The results of this inspection are proof that we take good care of our pigs and are testament to the excellent skills of our staff and to the daily care and attention that they give our pigs.

"We are proud of our standards and will continue to make every effort to ensure that our animals receive the best possible care."

Update 4/5/09:  Amanda Vanstone's dog bites Pakistan envoy and attacks Italian police DFAT

Diplomatic circles have been abuzz about Gus, Ambassador Vanstone's beloved Weimaraner and the dog's attack on Pakistan's envoy, Tasnim Aslam.

  (Photo courtesy of Morne De Klerk/news.com.au)

In his first diplomatic foray, Gus bit Ms Aslam at an Australian reception in Rome hosted by Vanstone.

Ambassador Vanstone had to fight to stop Gus being put down. She subsequently agreed to Italian laws to fit Gus with a muzzle.

But now The Sunday Telegraph has been told that when the Italian police came round to check, Gus struck again, muzzle or no muzzle.

Again apologies were given and accepted.

Asked about Gus's recidivist tendencies The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued this rather po-faced statement: "She (Ms Aslam) has continued to accept invitations to Ambassador Vanstone's residence and any suggestion that the incident affected relations with Pakistan is wrong.  "One other person - who was not a diplomat - has been bitten by the dog.

"Neither of the incidents in which individuals were bitten by Ambassador Vanstone's dog have affected the work of the Australian Embassy or Australia's relations with foreign countries."


ABC News news.com.au
Animal Liberation Australia