Media Releases and Statements > Statement in Response to Revocation of Charitable Status

Statement in Response to Revocation of Charitable Status

Last updated Tue 19 Nov 2019, 1:07pm

It is extremely disappointing and concerning that the animal agriculture industry, whose business interests are at direct odds with our charitable purpose of "preventing or relieving the suffering of animals", were notified in advance of this decision by the ACNC as late as last week and possibly earlier. This, in combination with the language used in communication with us from the ACNC earlier this year, points to a clear and extremely inappropriate influence from that industry in the making of this decision, and more broadly speaks to the ACNC’s failure to conduct this investigation independently of external influence. It is unacceptable that an industry that stands to gain financially from the revocation of our charitable status was notified several days prior to our charity being notified.

The ACNC has failed to satisfactorily explain why this decision has been made, other than a lack of formal documentation regarding the decision to publish our Farm Transparency Map in January this year, but appear unable or unwilling to explain why such documentation is necessary or how we are to retroactively create it without engaging in fraud. Questions we have asked of the ACNC in earlier communication this year have been ignored and left unanswered. This attitude is ultimately unsurprising given the ACNC Commissioner Gary Johns' openly anti-charity stance and previous disgusting remarks.

While not directly admitted by the ACNC, we suspect that this decision is strongly related to damning footage we have released this year including the exposure of an illegal slaughterhouse in southeast Melbourne, the routine shooting of "useless" male baby goats at a major goat dairy farm, and extreme cruelty including a lack of effective stunning at slaughterhouses in Sydney and southern Queensland.

Given the lack of independence exercised by the ACNC in this investigation and the clear bias in favour of industries that are by definition directly opposed to our charitable purpose, it is suspected that an appeal through the ACNC would be futile. At this stage we are calling for an external review of the ACNC’s ability to perform its role independently as it ought to do, and must now consider whether to pursue legal action for gross misuse of the ACNC Act.

As for how this affects our operations, the only difference is that we must now pay tax on any unspent fundraising at the end of each financial year. We remain a non-profit animal protection organisation dedicated to exposing and ending systemic animal cruelty.

 

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