“I bribed them all” – Hidden cameras capture damning confession and continued cruelty in Wally’s Piggery case
Hidden cameras installed at the cattle feedlot operated by former pig farmer Wally Perenc, near Yass NSW, have shone new light on the animal cruelty charges mysteriously withdrawn in 2014 by RSPCA NSW, and bolstered calls for the RSPCA to be stripped of its jurisdiction over farm animal cruelty, as detailed in the NSW Parliament by the Hon Mark Pearson MLC.
The new footage, anonymously provided to animal protection organisation Farm Transparency Project (formerly Aussie Farms), depicts adolescent calves bellowing in anguish as their young horns are ripped off without pain relief, not 100 metres from the now defunct piggery made infamous by 2012 covert footage. Numerous animals are seen suffering from eye infections, respiratory issues and even blindness, while others lie dead or dying.
Speaking to another man helping him, Wally can be heard discussing the older footage and the resulting case against him: “Here, fucken greenies come, video everything, showing how… killing pigs, with a hammer… went everywhere, all over the country. Our lawyer say, I just can’t help you, I just can’t help you… get fucked you can’t help me! … But then I come to court, fella come, he was the prosecutor… come to me he says Wally, I heard you’re in a bit of trouble… I was killing pigs before, and I fucken bribed them all!”
Though unclear precisely who he claims to have bribed, Farm Transparency Project believe the recorded confession adds to the sense of corruption surrounding the sudden and unexplained withdrawal of 53 charges of animal cruelty, including 12 counts of ‘aggravated’ cruelty, in 2014. In a statement at the time, RSPCA NSW attributed the decision to the reluctance of those who installed the hidden cameras to identify themselves, despite all 53 charges relating solely to the RSPCA’s own inspections and not relying in any measure on the original footage.
RSPCA NSW is afforded its powers to investigate and prosecute cruelty towards farm animals under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979, an Act administered by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI). A source within the RSPCA claimed that the Minister for Primary Industries at the time, Katrina Hodgkinson, had threatened to strip the organisation of these powers if it did not drop the charges.
Farm Transparency Project is calling for an end to the industry self-regulation of farm animal cruelty, in favour of establishing an Independent Office of Animal Protection in NSW, as a proof-of-concept for other states to follow. The move has already been recommended by a recent Parliamentary Committee on Animal Cruelty Laws.
Campaign Director, Alix Livingstone: “This corruption needs to stop. The responsibility for animal welfare should have never been that of the very industry that does the most harm to animals and has the most incentive to downplay exposure of cruelty; it has always been an enormous and unjustifiable conflict of interest.”
“RSPCA NSW have shown, time and time again, that they will always side with the farming industry, with numerous animal farmers holding positions across their Board and regional inspectorate, and countless examples of cruelty complaints going ignored. Even if they didn’t directly answer to the DPI, they’ve proven themselves completely inappropriate as an authority for farm animal cruelty.”
“Animals need an independent body responsible for the progression and enforcement of animal protection laws – one that acts in the interests of animals, not the agricultural sector.”
Footage, photos, additional information: www.farmtransparency.org/wally