“It’s for your own protection,” went too far for many animal lovers who are shocked and devastated to learn that rescue dogs were shot and killed to prevent volunteers from traveling to help them. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the extreme measures were carried out by a rural council in New South Wales (NSW) who made the decision in order to comply with strict Covid-19 restrictions.
According to the Office of Local Government (OLG), the Bourke Shire Council ordered the dogs to be killed in an effort to stop volunteers from an animal shelter from traveling to help the dogs. A spokesperson from OLG stated:
OLG has been informed that the council decided to take this course of action to protect its employees and community, including vulnerable Aboriginal populations, from the risk of COVID-19 transmission.”
Shelter staff and volunteers had Covid safety protocols in place, and they are “distressed” that the animals were killed. The news agency reached out to the council for a statement about the decision to shoot the dogs, but they did not receive a response.
Animal liberation campaigner Lisa Ryan said:
“We are deeply distressed and completely appalled by this callous dog shooting and we totally reject council’s unacceptable justifications that this killing was apparently undertaken as part of a COVID- safe plan.”
Responses to the shootings have been met with disbelief and outrage by people on Twitter:
Masses of people have been hitting the streets in Queensland to protest the government’s strict Covid-related lockdowns. As reported by ABC.Au.Net, eight people were arrested over the weekend; officials are critical of those who participate in the protests.
Mark Westley, one of the protest participants, called the government restrictions a “disgrace,” adding, “It’s a direct attack on my freedom of liberty, freedom to move, it’s affecting people’s businesses and social lives.” Westley voiced his concerns for the country’s future:
This will be the break-up of the Commonwealth of Australia, it will be the fragmentation of Australia into disparate, fighting, disputing groups and the end of democracy as we know it,”
Another protester described the lockdown’s impact on her ability to provide for herself:
“I was working [across the border] and now my source of income has been cut off, so I’m forced to be dependent on the government,” she said. It’s really, really distressing and we’re angry — we’re angry about our government.”
In Sydney, the military was called in to enforce lockdowns, reports CNN. Lockdowns in the area are expected to last into September, or beyond.
© Rescue Writers, 2016, All Rights Reserved
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