New Zealand Sees No Changes to Pig Welfare

NEW ZEALAND - The cruelty of the New Zealand pig industry has once again been exposed as disturbing new footage on TV One’s Close Up programme tonight reveals there is no change to the way tens of thousands of pigs are being reared on factory farms.
calendar icon 12 April 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

Animal advocacy group SAFE says assurances from the New Zealand Pork Industry Board that pig welfare is being taken seriously are nothing more than hollow talk. Almost one year after comedian Mike King exposed pig cruelty on factory farms in New Zealand, pigs continue to endure a living hell, says the group.

Members of Open Rescue, who supplied SAFE with the original footage, visited three Waikato piggeries last week and filmed appalling scenes of injured, dead and dying piglets and sows confined in tiny farrowing crates, lying in their own excrement in filthy, fly-infested sheds. The group also found dead piglets, some of which had been cannibalised, scattered outside or dumped in bins.

“This new footage reveals that the pig industry has failed to rectify serious welfare problems despite unprecedented public outrage over pig cruelty. Promises by the NZ Pork Industry Board to undertake animal welfare audits are nothing short of utter nonsense and their failure to take action to relieve the suffering of tens of thousands of pigs is reprehensible,” says SAFE campaign director Hans Kriek.

The National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) has recommended a phase-out of sow stalls (pregnant sows confined in crates) but it will continue to allow farrowing crates, despite these crates being in breach of New Zealand animal welfare legislation.

“SAFE is appalled that NAWAC has no intention of banning farrowing crates, and will urge the Minister of Agriculture, David Carter, not to sign off a code that fails to uphold the Animal Welfare Act and allows the ongoing suffering of pigs,” says Mr Kriek.

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