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Government Must Demand Release of Pig Audits

by 5m Editor
29 July 2010, at 11:20am

NEW ZEALAND - The Pork Industry Board's attempt to evade the Official Information Act on top of its stalling attempts to strengthen any new pig welfare code shows the need for urgent government intervention, Green Party Animal Welfare spokesperson Sue Kedgley said today.

The Pork Industry Board late last year used litigation to delay the release of a new code of welfare for pigs. Now media reports claim the Board is seeking to evade the Official Information Act to ensure that pig farmers will not face 'embarrassment' from public exposure of conditions reported in their piggeries.

“The Minister of Agriculture David Carter - who is responsible for appointing members to this board - needs to demand that the Pork Board releases all information and audits it holds on conditions in piggeries around New Zealand,“ said Ms Kedgley.

“The public has a right to know what conditions are like on the farms they buy pork from, and whether they meet basic welfare standards.“

“The Pork Industry Board is a statutory board, which means it is covered by the Official Information Act, and it cannot be allowed to get away with attempts at deliberately evading the public,“ said Ms Kedgley.

"It is a serious offence for a statutory board to deliberately seek to evade the Official Information Act.“

Ms Kedgley said she was also concerned by the Pork Board's claim that most customers did not care about farm conditions.

“New Zealanders care deeply about the atrocious conditions that sows are forced to endure on intensive pig farms that use sow crates,“ said Ms Kedgley.

“The public care about animals and their welfare and they will be appalled by the Board's latest attempt to try to cover up actual conditions on pig farms.

“The Pork Industry Board is acting as if it is a secret society, not a statutory board.“