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MAF vet criticised for horse cruelty

MAF vet criticised for horse cruelty

Animal advocates are outraged that horses under the supervision of a Ministry of Agriculture (MAF) veterinarian were found so emaciated that officials had to take immediate action and destroy suffering animals on-site.

National animal advocacy organisation SAFE has sought an explanation from MAF as to how one of their own veterinarians has become so complacent in his duty of animal welfare.

"Neglected and emaciated horses are not an uncommon sight in New Zealand but you don¹t expect horses under the watchful eye of a MAF veterinarian to be allowed to suffer such terrible cruelty. It is reprehensible that a qualified government veterinarian could become so complacent in his duty and allow such needless animal suffering" says SAFE National Campaign Director Hans Kriek.

Around thirty horses have been awaiting slaughter at the Gore-based horse meat processing company Clover Exports for several months while the company waits for its licence to be renewed by MAF. SAFE questions if Clover Exports should be allowed to continue to operate following disturbing comments made by the manager of Clover Exports on the Holmes Show last night.

"Clover Exports plant manager Peter Bowden denied horses were suffering despite having starving and emaciated animals standing in front on him. Clearly this demonstrates a woeful lack of knowledge and consideration for animal welfare. SAFE has serious doubts as to the fate of animals in the hands of Clover Exports. I'm sure the people eating these horses in Europe would find it hard to swallow the flesh of a suffering, emaciated animal."

SAFE has called upon MAF to undertake a full investigation of Clover Exports operating and management procedures and recommends that their licence to operate not be renewed.


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