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49 Per Cent Of Sows Kept In Dry Stalls - Kedgley

Green MP Sue Kedgley today moved to clarify information given by the Minister of Agriculture in the House yesterday about the numbers of sows kept in dry sow stalls.

The Minister said in response to a question that only 32% of sows were kept in dry sow stalls.

But Ms Kedgley said today that the New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research reported in 1999 that dry sow stalls were "widely used", with 49% of sows kept in dry stalls. The same report said 32% of sows were kept in dry stalls for an extended period, more than one and a half months, with an average stay of 105 days.

Ms Kedgley tabled the report in the House today, saying that she believed the public and the Government should be clear that nearly half of the sows in the pork industry were kept in dry sow stalls for up to one and a half months at a time.

"Half of the industry does not even use dry sow stalls, but they are getting a bad name along with those who still use these cruel devices," she said. "Clearly, the Pork Industry Board is not representing the entire industry on this matter."

Almost 80,000 people signed a petition presented yesterday to the Pork Industry Board to phase out sow stalls.

"There is overwhelming public support for changes to the industry," she said. "Consumers do not want to eat meat from animals that are inhumanly treated."

Ms Kedgley said the Government must legislate to phase out the sow stall. "In the mean time, mandatory labelling for free-range pork should be introduced, to allow consumers to avoid supporting inhumane farming practices."

ends

Sue Kedgley MP: 04 470 6728 or 025 270 9088 Gina Dempster, Press secretary: 04 470 6723 or 021 1265 289


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