Luxton's shameless cheek...
Labour has accused Food and Fibre Minister John Luxton of having "a shameless cheek" in promoting New Zealand as "animal welfare friendly", given that his Government failed for most of a decade to act on new animal welfare legislation.
"The blunt truth is that it was a Labour initiative, alone, which forced the Government's hand. Not until Labour introduced a private member's bill, replicating Government decisions taken five years earlier, did the Government finally decide to budge.
"Until then the litany of fob-offs, delays and obfuscations had become a source of embarrassment and frustration for animal welfare societies and the primary production industries alike. It was Labour that shifted this log jam and it is a little irritating to see the Government now take the credit for a legislative initiative it dithered over for years.
"Even now all Mr Luxton can see is the dollar signs in his eyes. Whilst the trade aspect of animal welfare is critically important Mr Luxton has managed to overlook entirely the fact that animal welfare legislation has another function, namely to promote animal welfare for its own sake."