Minister Boasts About Deer Deaths After Mowing Them Down

Deer Media Release


  • MP Adam Marshall, the Minister responsible animal welfare in NSW, has been filmed bragging about deliberately running over deer in footage released on social media sites. 
  • The Minister is shown smugly joking about the cruel act and justifying it on the grounds that deer are “pests” and are in “plague” proportions. 
  • Similar hit-and-run behaviour by a Victorian man last year led to a nationwide investigation and several charges of animal cruelty. 

SYDNEY, 2019: Animal Liberation, Australia’s senior animal rights organisation, condemns the actions of Adam Marshall, State MP for Agriculture, following the release of a damning video documenting the Minister responsible for animal welfare publicly bragging about deliberately running down wild deer. 

At around the same time last year, a Victorian man was charged with committing several animal cruelty offences after intentionally running over a dozen emus. The man recorded the act using a dash-cam and is heard laughing on the film as the flightless birds are crushed under the vehicle. It was an act so callous that it led the RSCPA to launch an investigation and an active Australia-wide hunt for the perpetrator, which ended in an arrest and cruelty charges. 

“It’s an incredibly cruel act. For the minister responsible for ensuring animal welfare is adhered to the letter of the law to brag about it simply beggars belief,” says Animal Liberation spokesperson Alex Vince. “Mr. Marshall should be held accountable, to the same standards, and under the same laws as the rest of us are. He shouldn’t be given a slap on the wrist or a warning; he should be shown that behaviour like this is totally unacceptable under the legislation he is expected to govern”. 

As State Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Marshall is presently responsible for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, also known as POCTA. The Act contains offences for acts of animal cruelty, provides for penalties, and ultimately aims to prevent cruelty to animals across the state of NSW. 

“Up to 4 million animals are killed by vehicle collisions in this country every year. The number who suffer a slow death in the bush afterwards is uncountable,” says Alex Vince. “These collisions put a huge strain on ecological communities and produce scores of orphans, many of whom rely on the kindness of Aussie wildlife volunteers to survive. Studies have shown that animals injured in collisions and eventually released back into the wild learn to avoid cars in the future. They remember the sound, the sight, or even the smell of the trauma and its object that injured them. Mr. Marshall has made a mockery of the Australian way and must be made accountable for his reprehensibly criminal actions; they didn’t stand a chance, simply so he could tell a quippy anecdote”. 

“Minister Marshall’s personal opinion about the impacts of deer on the ecosystem are moot. There is no excuse, ethically or legislatively, for what he has done. And though I suspect this may be a moment of misguided bravado, the authorities must treat this with the same rigour as they would if it were any other Australian. Indeed, an investigation may find that Mr. Marshall is unfit for the position and its portfolio responsibilities”. 

Only a week ago, Minister Marshall announced that the rules around hunting deer would be relaxed so that shooters no longer needed a licence to kill on private land. The changes are to be implemented tomorrow, but experts have maintained that the move is unlikely to bring about any meaningful change; similar attempts in other states have failed to produce any salient results. 

Animal Liberation has tabled a formal complaint regarding Mr. Marshall’s actions of alleged animal cruelty with the relevant authorities, the NSW Department of Primary Industries, the Animal Welfare League, and the RSPCA. The controversy has also reignited the abolitionist organisations call for the establishment of an Independent Office of Animal Welfare and the removal of responsibility for welfare issues from the governance and control of the Department of Agriculture to the NSW Police Force. 


Contact: Alex Vince | (02) 9262 3221 | [email protected]