Sheep abused by Australian elite school

This 16 November 2018 video says about itself:

Video evidence gathered by animal rights activists appears to show sheep being kicked, beaten and abused during wool-shearing on English and Scottish farms. It follows an undercover investigation by Peta Asia over the summer that documented alleged abuse on a total of 49 farms in England and Scotland.

Another video used to say about itself:

20 May 2016

Elite Australian King’s School caught in sheep tackling furore.

An elite Sydney boys’ school is being investigated for animal cruelty after a video emerged of students crash tackling sheep during rugby drills.

Footage of the training sessions shows the animals being dragged around a New South Wales farm by top players from the King’s School in April.

From the ABC 7:30 TV show in Australia:

Prestigious Sydney private school investigated for animal cruelty after ABC obtains ‘horrific’ sheep-tackling video

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Broadcast: 19/05/2016

Reporter: Lorna Knowles

The King’s School is being investigated for animal cruelty after the ABC obtained videos of members of the school’s top rugby teams crash-tackling sheep in a farm paddock, threatening to tarnish the school’s proud sporting history.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: One of the nation’s most prestigious private schools is being investigated for animal cruelty.

The ABC’S obtained videos of the school’s top rugby teams crash tackling sheep in a farm paddock.

The King’s School in Parramatta helped pioneer rugby union in Australia and has produced dozens of Wallabies players.

The school’s defending the behaviour in the videos, but it’s been condemned by farming and veterinary groups, as Lorna Knowles reports.

LORNA KNOWLES, REPORTER: It’s one of the oldest and best-known independent schools in Australia and sells itself as a boys’ school for Australia’s future leaders. One of its proudest traditions is its rugby team.

But disturbing footage filmed at a recent rugby camp threatens to tarnish the school’s reputation.

The videos obtained by 7.30 show the King’s School top rugby players chasing, tackling and flipping over these young rams.

The boys are being egged on by the adult in charge, former Waratahs player and King’s old boy James Hilgendorf, who’s also the school’s PE teacher and rugby coach.

The videos have triggered an investigation by the RSPCA which could lead to criminal charges against the school and staff involved.

STEVE COLEMAN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, NSW RSPCA: It’s horrific. I can’t sum it up any other way – that the behaviour in that footage is disgraceful.

DEREK SCHOEN, PRESIDENT, NSW FARMERS ASSOCIATION: This is unacceptable animal husbandry practices. You’d never treat your stock like that and I would say most concerned farmers would view that with a bit of horror.

LORNA KNOWLES: The video was filmed last month at a camp for the King’s first and second 15 teams in Orange, NSW. The camp included a visit to the sheep farm of a King’s old boy.

The latest King’s School newsletter trumpets the visit:

THE KING’S HERALD (male voiceover): “The day at the farm was a huge success, the boys doing a series of activities that both challenged them, whilst also taking them out of their comfort zone.”

LORNA KNOWLES: 7.30 took the footage to the RSPCA late last week.

STEVE COLEMAN: Out of control, absolutely out of control. That’s a dog. If that’s – if that’s a stock – if he has any involvement with those sheep and he’s watching that happen, we’d like to know who that is. …

… Clearly there are actions and behaviours in that that are, again, unreasonable, unnecessary and unjustifiable and they are the three main ingredients in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

LORNA KNOWLES: RSPCA CEO Steve Coleman is most concerned about the behaviour of the adults supervising the boys.

STEVE COLEMAN: There’s a level of pre-organising, if you like, around this. This doesn’t just happen on a whim. So someone has thought about providing this as a so-called opportunity for these teenage boys.

LORNA KNOWLES: Dr Robert Suter, head of the Australian Vets Association, is also alarmed by the footage.

ROBERT SUTER, AUST. VETERINARY ASSOC.: We’re dealing with rams and rams can actually turn into – they can learn from that and when they’re adults and 120 kilo ball of muscle with a skull as head as a bowling ball, one of them might turn around and decide to take it out on a handler in the future. They might learn from this and I pity the handler.

LORNA KNOWLES: The videos have also raised serious concerns around the safety of the boys involved. 7.30 has obscured their faces, but it’s clear that some of them are uncomfortable.

STEVE COLEMAN: A group of teenage boys and like any group of people, you’ve got those that are dominant, those that are on the fence and those that aren’t comfortable all ending up over here because of some adult that’s encouraging it.

DEREK SCHOEN: A full grown ram will be over 100 kilos and frequently when they’re shorn, they’ll be sedated for the safety of shearers, so to have rams running around with a whole lot of schoolkids, I think is just plain stupid.

LORNA KNOWLES: The headmaster of King’s, Dr Tim Hawkes, declined an interview, but in a statement defended the incident.

TIM HAWKES, HEADMASTER, THE KING’S SCHOOL (male voiceover): “The task was supervised closely by the farmer who gave instructions to the boys as to how this task should be done. The two rugby coaches were assured by the farmer beforehand that the activity was safe and all the more so because he would be supervising it carefully. No animals were injured in the exercise. Neither were any boys.”

LORNA KNOWLES: These RSPCA investigators are far from satisfied with that explanation. They’re here today with a few more questions for Dr Hawkes.

So, that was yesterday. Meanwhile, today, Tim Hawkes has retracted his earlier pro-sheep abuse comments. He now says that the sheep abuse was ‘totally wrong’.

The Farmers’ Federation Derek Schoen says the farmer involved also has serious questions to answer.

DEREK SCHOEN: If it was one of my employees doing that, they would be shown the door very quickly. I would say have a serious look at your operation because especially if an accident did happen and the insurance company saw that footage, I don’t think you’d have a leg to stand on.

Mr Schoen says the sheep were ‘obviously stressed’.

STEVE COLEMAN: What I just saw was behaviour that can lead to similar behaviours towards humans. There’s a lot to be said about violence in general. The concerning factor for the RSPCA is if an otherwise balanced individual can do this to an animal, then what next?

LEIGH SALES: Lorna Knowles reporting.

British rugby players against wildlife crime

This 11 September 2015 video is called Former England Rugby Captains Ollie Phillips and Catherine Spencer talk on Trek across Namib Desert.

Another video, no longer on YouTube, used to say about itself:

Catherine Spencer needs you. Are you ready to Endure?

5 September 2015

Catherine Spencer, former England women’s rugby captain turned adventurer & entrepreneur is embarking on the Endure 6 Skeleton Coast Expedition in November 2015. She will be leading ‘Team Snow Leopard‘ on a 150km trek across the Namib Desert to the Skeleton Coast to raise awareness and stop the illegal trade of wild animals in support of The Endure Foundation.

Catherine is looking for adventurers to join her team, if you’re interested in finding out more please visit here.

From Wildlife Extra:

Rugby aces Ollie Phillips and Catherine Spencer to take on desert challenge to raise awareness of the illegal wildlife trade

Rugby stars Ollie Phillips (former England 7’s Rugby Captain) and Catherine Spencer (former Women’s England Rugby Captain) are taking on the Endure 6 Skeleton Coast Expedition this November to raise awareness and help stop the illegal trade of wild animals.

The expedition is a 150km unsupported trek from the hinterland across the Namib Desert finishing ten days later at the Skeleton Coast in support of The Endure Foundation and its six charity partners. One of those charity partners is the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, who fund a range of innovative, vital and far reaching projects throughout Africa and Asia to achieve real results for endangered wildlife.

Ollie will be leading ‘Team Elephant’ and Catherine will lead ‘Team Snow Leopard’ and the expedition will be filmed and follow the teams on their journey to form a documentary to raise awareness and help stop the illegal trade of wild animals in partnership with DSWF.

Both Ollie and Catherine are looking for motivated team members to join them on this arduous expedition. They will be involved in the planning of the expedition and will face everything from searing heat and sand storms to wild animals and coastal fog.

Ollie Phillips said “I’m thrilled to be leading a team on this expedition. The desert is a completely new terrain for myself and Catherine. We’re looking for people from all walks of life to join our teams to raise awareness for some of the world’s most endangered animals.”

DSWF CEO, Sally Case added: “It is incredible that anything survives in the harsh conditions of much of Namibia’s terrain. That a species like the rhino has evolved and adapted to survive in desert conditions is testament to a species determined to survive. With the teams drawing inspiration from the indomitable spirit of the Namibian black rhino we are sure that this will be the challenge of a lifetime.”

Nelson Mandela’s mourners, sincere and insincere

This video from New Zealand says about itself:

A Political Game- a story of Rugby and Apartheid

30 Dec 2011

A Political Game explores an issue whose origins are to be found in the first decades of this century. It is about the battle for the soul of New Zealand, about an affluent period in our history when internationalism was popular and idealism was affordable.

IN BROAD brush-strokes we learn the context of rugby, politics and apartheid from 1921 through to 1996 and today. What did we do, and why did we do it? What effect did we have not only on New Zealanders attitudes towards sporting and other contacts with South Africa, but on wider related issues such as New Zealands foreign policy? Outside South Africa itself, nowhere was the impact of that country’s racial politics greater than it was in New Zealand. What does this tell us about ourselves? Why was the New Zealand/South Africa rugby connection the subject of such an intense and protracted debate?

Rugby did more than mirror emerging cultural values; it stimulated national pride and national feelings. It brought a nation together, providing a focus for a feeling of unity …rugby provided the biggest public rituals and celebrations. And it didnt just do that for New Zealanders. It did it also for white South Africans. Nothing it seemed was bigger than the game. Defeats were national disasters. Rugby was godlike. To question that was to question New Zealand.

Tens of thousands of South Africans braved driving rain to mark the passing of their country’s greatest son Nelson Mandela: here.

By Yasmine Ryan from New Zealand:

New Zealand’s Leader Questioned Over Apartheid Amnesia

Posted: 09/12/2013 17:38

Many of the world dignitaries heading to the village Qunua to join South African people for the funeral of funerals have dubious track records on the anti-apartheid struggle.

As a 23-year-old, while Mandela languished in prison, David Cameron, now British Prime Minister, accepted an all-expenses paid trip from a company lobbying against economic sanctions on the apartheid government.

It took Cameron until 2006, but he finally distanced himself from the Conservative Party’s support for the apartheid regime, criticising Margaret Thatcher for having labelled Mandela a “terrorist”.

Former US President Bill Clinton calls Mandela a “true friend,” and undoubtedly shared a bond with the South African icon. But he still failed to have Mandela and the African National Congress Party removed from the US terrorism list on which Ronald Reagan had placed them.

Mandela, unsurprisingly, differed with the Bush administration over the War on Terror and the invasion of Iraq. Vice president Dick Cheney had been the senator who had presented the terrorist motion in 1987. It was, nonetheless, George W Bush who finally removed the Nobel Peace Prize laureate from the terrorist list.

That wasn’t until in 2008, at the tail end of his presidency.

Hypocritical and revisionist, perhaps. In an entirely different category, however, is the apparent indifference demonstrated by the New Zealand prime minister, who refuses to even discuss with the media his stance on apartheid at the time of Mandela’s imprisonment.

Prime Minister John Key of the conservative National Party will be attending the funeral as the leader of the NZ delegation. Yet Key is irritated by the fact that media continues to ask him about the issue.

“I’m not going to bother going into it,” he told TVNZ’s Breakfast, a morning news show, after being pressed on Monday once again about his attitude towards apartheid in the early 1980s.

“I was about 20 years of age, I had a whole lot of other things to do at the time.”

When he took over the National Party in 2006, Key was asked for the first time about whether he had been for or against the notorious 1981 Springbok rugby tour of NZ. He replied simply that he couldn’t remember.

He maintained this same amnesic position during the 2008 election debate.

This indifference is inconceivable to many New Zealanders, who recall the 1981 Springbok tour as one of the most divisive periods in the nation’s contemporary history.

South Africa was an international pariah at the time, and NZ was one of the few countries to break the international ban on sporting ties. Roughly half of the population of the rugby-loving country were adamant that politics wouldn’t get in the way of a good match, while the other half were committed to stopping what they considered to be a national disgrace.

Leading up to the tour, Kiwi riot police were armed with long batons and training. The country hadn’t experience such widespread brutality in decades, as protesters were arrested en mass and took to wearing helmets to protect themselves from the blows dealt by police and angry rugby fans.

Key’s evasiveness some thirty years after the tour might indeed be, as many suspect, a shrewd political calculation: his conservative political base largely was in favour of the tour.

After all, Robert Muldoon, the National prime minister who condemned Mandela as a terrorist and let the tour happen, was voted back into office when elections were held a few months after the 1981 tour.

There has been loud criticism in NZ over the delegation that will be representing our country at the funeral, and its failure to include any of the leading voices who argued we should show solidarity with the victims of the apartheid regime rather than kicking a ball around with the representatives of their white oppressors.

The inclusion on the NZ delegation of two senior figures from the pro-tour Muldoon government, Jim Bolger and Don McKinnon, has also stirred anger.

“The current delegation is heavily weighted with those who supported the 1981 tour, were apologists for South Africa’s apartheid regime and strongly opposed New Zealand’s anti-apartheid movement,” John Minto, a leading figure of NZ’s anti-apartheid movement, told me by email.

There’s also the distinct possibility that Key might actually be telling the truth: that he really didn’t care, either way. If so, this is arguably more disquieting.

Key has said that he became interested in politics in the 1970s, but the politics that caught his attention, this suggests, were not the same ones that captured the passions of the majority of the NZ public in the 1980s.

For if he was indifferent to Mandela’s plight, and to the passions the pro-Tour movement provoked in many of his fellow conservatives, it clearly was the economic politics of the day that got Key excited.

The cause of great pain and spiralling unemployment for many, the dramatic economic changes of the 1980s paved the way for aspiring stockbrokers like the young Key to embark on a career as a trader.

He might have no memory of Mandela’s imprisonment, but he vividly remembers the day the Lange government floated the NZ dollar in 1985. He became one of the country’s first foreign currency traders that same year.

His colleagues were later convicted for launching the most spectacular and destabilising attack on the national currency in NZ’s history.

Trading on the newly open markets paid off, and by the time he was voted into office in 2008, Key had accumulated an estimated personal wealth of NZ$50 million – the richest member of NZ’s parliament.

During the period when Key and others in the banking industry were making their fortunes, NZ went from being one of the most equal countries in the developed world to being one of the most unequal, a trend that is continuing under Key’s government. The OECD credits changes in taxation and labour law for the dramatic changes in the distribution of wealth.

Nelson Mandela represents a life of sacrifice and devotion to an ethically-charged political cause. There were those who opposed that same cause, and who subsequently found themselves on the wrong side of history.

And then there exists that increasingly common brand of politician of the 21st century: the technocrat who is devoid of any sincere political passion either way.

Key might never have called Mandela a terrorist, but his 1980s apathy over apartheid is arguably more troubling for what it reveals about the shallow nature of his politics, and his very motivations for going into public service.