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Repeating untruths don't make them true

Repeating untruths don't make them true

National Party leader Don Brash really needs to work out if he can have any confidence in his agriculture spokesman after he made such a hash of criticizing the animal welfare system, insulting Federated Farmers in the process, Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton repeated the fact: the so-called draft code of welfare for dogs is not "a new regulation". It is not "a requirement from Jim Sutton". It is not "Labour's law", nor could it result in "farmers being jailed or fined $25,000 for failing to clean dog's dishes daily".

He said the claims were pure fiction from the National Party.

"What Mr Carter has seen is, as he and we know, a draft code being prepared by a working group which includes Federated Farmers. That group's suggestions will be reviewed by the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, released for public submissions, and then turned into a recommendation to the responsible minister, currently Associate Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor.

"It is miles from being Government policy, let alone the law of the land. For David Carter and Nick Smith to suggest otherwise is to demonstrate a lack of integrity on their part."

Mr Sutton said that Federated Farmers was a part of the working group involved in preparing the suggested code, but National's comments suggested they felt the Feds were not doing their job.

"Perhaps David Carter thinks it is all right to refer to such people in the way he has to the residents of Woolston, in the electorate he is contesting. But it certainly raises questions as to his fitness for the job he aspires to ? Minister of Agriculture.

"I call on Don Brash to show a bit of leadership and instruct his subordinates to stop telling silly lies and to stop gratuitously insulting people who are working in the system in their own time to produce practical, commonsense animal welfare rules that will enhance New Zealand's reputation as an ethical producer of primary products for the world."

ENDS

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