Well known for her animal welfare suggestions in the Chamber, Councillor Karen Eckermann was asked to speak about her experiences at the Animal Justice Party’s National Conference last Saturday which was held at the University of Adelaide’s Waite Campus.
Cr Eckermann spoke to the group about working for better animal outcomes in a region famous for its meat processing, chicken sheds, intensive piggeries and livestock production - and how to reconcile a lifelong commitment to animal welfare with the realities of an agricultural community.
Cr Eckermann has often expressed opposition to greyhound racing and ambivalence about the new track to be built in Murray Bridge. She regularly declines invitations to attend horse racing meets until the Murray Bridge Racing Club ceases to hold jumps races which she considers cruel and redundant.
In addition, she has recently corresponded with Thomas Foods to ask the giant meat processor to consider installing CCTV cameras to all areas of their facility where live animals are unloaded, stunned and killed.
“The UK has legislated for CCTVs to all their abattoirs and will brand their meat ‘cruelty free’ as a result. I would be thrilled if Thomas Foods, and Big River Pork, might consider a similar installation.”
“If there is nothing to hide, there should be no problem”.
Cr Eckermann pushed to form the Council’s Cat Management Working Party and continues to work to overcome the large semi-owned and abandoned cat population on town streets.
She has also opposed a Little Corella cull, hoping an alternative course can be found to manage their behaviour.
“I examine every issue that comes before Council through an animal welfare lens. I can’t help it; it’s who I am,” she said.
Cr Eckermann’s speech to the Conference was met with resounding applause from local and interstate attendees who urged her to continue ‘fighting the good fight for animals - against the odds’.