Conflict of Interest?

By Nathan Edwards The Daily Telegraph


Alpacas are on the menu;
• Voiceless fundraiser Wednesday, with Emile Sherman who made The King’s Speech;
• Proud Dad Brian Sherman, founder of Voiceless, challenges our Uni’s to a duel; While the RSPCA joins the hormone-free debate

The King’s Speech

Voiceless Animal Rights group are having their major fund raising night this Wednesday 18th May. Special guests will include Voiceless Director Emile Sherman (winner of the 2011 Best Picture Oscar for The King’s Speech), Dr Charlie Teo (internationally renowned neurosurgeon), Akira Isogawa (acclaimed fashion designer), Holly Throsby (ARIA nominated singer-songwriter) and Voiceless Ambassador Emily Barclay (award-winning actress) gathering for an exciting evening of Art for Animals Please visit Voiceless to purchase your tickets and for more information.

Animal Welfare Conflict of Interest

Meanwhile, Voiceless is still lobbying hard to have hormones removed from our food source. Founder,  and former Chairman of Channel Ten, Brian Sherman has openly questioned whether it is acceptable for Universities involved in Veterinary Science to be funded by or involved in collaboration with drug companies; and also with the Livestock industries. Does it allow for impartiality? He asks this in light of the fact that several of the academics who supported a recent pro-hormone ad in The Australian are with institutions that are similarly funded.  Brian Sherman points to Sydney University Department of Veterinary Science’s own record of funding on its  Website

Faculty of Veterinary staff have a wide spectrum of research expertise across a broad range of species. Faculty research income is drawn from a wide variety of sources, [including]  the Meat & Livestock Australia, Australian Pork Ltd, Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC), Dairy Research and Development Corporation (DRDC)… Industry collaborations with industry partners as diverse as Pfizer Pty Ltd…

In relation to Universities accepting funding from drug companies and other interests, Sherman questions whether this as a potential conflict of interest under the UNSW definition and calls on the Universities to be part of an open debate into the matter.


RSPCA  adds its voice on hormone-free, free-range livestock

“Humane food production is about providing farm animals with an environment that meets their behavioural needs. Sows should be able to forage for food and have access to straw to build a nest for their piglets. Layer hens should be free to roam, dustbathe, scratch in the dirt and lay their eggs in a nest. Sow stalls and cages have no place in humane farming systems. Surplus dairy calves, too, deserve a fairer go. And with regard to the effect of hormone growth promotants on animal welfare, this requires further research. Until more information is available, hormonal growth promotants are best used with caution.

“To make a meaningful impact on farm animal welfare we need more humane food products on every supermarket shelf in Australia. So when making that decision at the supermarket shelf, remember it’s not just about price – it’s about animal welfare and supporting those farmers who are providing you with a higher welfare choice.”

Here is a link for more information on our Approved Farming Scheme and our Humane Food campaign.

Alpaca’s as dinner

(Photo above taken by Nathan Edwards Source: The Daily Telegraph)


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9 Responses to Conflict of Interest?

  1. Ruth Ostrow 19 May 2011 at 1:17 am #

    Thanks Daniel for answering on this important issue. And lovely to hear from you 🙂

  2. Daniel 18 May 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    This has been an issue that has bugged me for years. I think we as a nation really need to listen to the RSPCA more and understand the suffering that these animals have to endure. I only eat fish which serves as my meat these days. Quite content and happy with my decision too. Regardless, we need to open peoples eyes more to these issues to stop the cruelty that is going on worldwide.

  3. Ruth Ostrow 15 May 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention Roslyn. I have had a gut full of hearing “WE don’t do this in Australia” as if Australian animals, and the health of our people with regards to hormones in dairy products is the only thing that matters. We are part of a global community. People who care about such matters are naturally compassionate to the wellbeing of all creatures and all people’s around the world.

  4. Roslyn Wells 15 May 2011 at 4:06 pm #

    The factory-farming debate is not limited just to Australia.

    The dairy industry globally has used, and is still using, a synthetic version of recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), which was developed to increase milk yields. Although rBGH is now banned in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and some European countries, according to the manaufacturer, Monsanto, one third of all dairy cattle in the US have been injected with the hormone.

    While consumer advocates are concerned about the effects of hormone-laced milk on humans, it has been established by Canadian researchers (and others) that rBGH does cause health problems in cows, specifically mastitis and laminitis, a painful hoof ailment.

    Re chickens, in the USA for example, they are indeed fed with growth promotants. As leading factory-farming authority and lobbyist Gene Baur writes in his recent book (2008) Farm Sanctuary p151.

    “…the chickens are supplied with feed laced with growth-enhancing drugs and chemicals, including arsenic, delivered through automated feed troughs.The goal is to make food readily available to the fast-growing birds. Artificial lighting stimulates the birds to consume more, grow fast, and reach market weight as quickly as possible. The birds have been genetically manipulated to develop extra-large breasts…the poultry industry boasts about the fact that it takes only forty-two days to bring a five-to-six pound chicken to market – fifty years ago it took more than three months.”

    The chickens are not miraculously getting bigger, as the poultry industry would have us believe. Wouldn’t that be convenient though, and profitable too.

    Re the mistreatment of animals at slaughterhouses, again this has been exposed by many undercover investigations and whistleblowers. The current efforts by slaughterhouses in some US states to criminalise such exposes only serves to confirm that they have something to hide.

  5. @pamelapossum 15 May 2011 at 9:39 am #

    And the issue of using antibiotics as growth promoters in farm animals as raised recently in Insight is very important too. This use is contributing to antibiotic-resistant bacteria which affects all animals, including us!

  6. Ruth Ostrow 15 May 2011 at 12:28 am #

    Thanks Marianne, the suffering of animals is translated into hormones and chemicals like adrenalin and other fight or flight stress hormones which permeate the flesh. When you think of it this way, that you are directly ingesting an animal’s pain, it does become nauseating. Watching those films of how animals are reared and killed put me off eating meat for life. Watch Food Inc.

  7. Marianne 15 May 2011 at 12:23 am #

    I agree with the RSPCA. We must let our animals be free and joyful. If we must eat meat then I certainly don’t want to eat the flesh of a creature that has suffered.

  8. Go Mo 15 May 2011 at 12:22 am #

    I’m surprised by Sydney University’s declaration statement. It does put a different slant on things when you consider that there is so much at stake if income were to be withdrawn. Hmmm, I am looking forward to hearing university and other research-orientated school’s response to Brian Sherman’s challenging statements.

  9. Samuel 15 May 2011 at 12:19 am #

    Dear Ruth the thought of eating something as lovely as an Alpaca makes me feel very depressed, and quite sick. I am a vegetarian so I know I am biased. But I really wonder where it will stop. Will people starting eating Koalas one of these days when it becomes trendy?

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