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Activists will be on the streets of Levin

9th September 2005

Animal rights activists will be on the streets of Levin this Saturday

Animal rights activists will be on the streets of Levin this Saturday, campaigning against factory farming. Activists say hundreds of thousands of pigs and chickens suffer in factory farms in and around the Levin area alone and want to raise awareness locally.

Events will include an education stall and colourful protest banners. CAFF supporters will gather outside McDonalds on the main road in Levin at noon.

Campaign Against Factory Farming (CAFF) spokesperson Debra Ashton says public opposition to factory farming is growing with more people refusing to buy cruelly produced products.

"Once people realise the horrors on these farms, they are quick to get behind the campaign. We are encouraging local people to come and show their support."

School type report cards advising voters where the political parties stand on factory farm issues will be a feature of the stall.

Information for the report card was gathered from meetings with politicians and questionnaires sent to them. "It's a quirky approach but gets the message across. This is the one chance voters get, every three years, to speak up for the thousands of pigs and chickens suffering needlessly in this country. The current government has not listened to the majority of New Zealanders who want factory farming banned. We wanted to assist the voter in understanding the policies of individual parties. Unfortunately most of them do not have policies on this subject, let alone an animal rights spokesperson."

A review of the Animal Welfare Code in December of last year changed little for the lives of these animals. In farm sheds around New Zealand, about three million battery hens produce around 92% of eggs consumed in New Zealand. Over 20 thousand breeding sows also suffer cruel confinement in sow crates. "Our aim is to inform people about the cruelty of factory farming and encourage them to put pressure on the government to stop it."

Over the past two years, CAFF has been running education campaigns throughout the lower North Island. A 2002 Colmar Brunton survey found that 79% of New Zealanders supported the banning of battery hen farming and would be prepared to pay higher prices for their eggs so the hens didn't have to suffer anymore.

ENDS

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