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SPCA Hails Government Grant For Inspectors


ROYAL NEW ZEALAND SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS

For release: 5 May 2008

SPCA Hails Government Grant For Inspectors

$300,000 pledged to help deal with drought conditions on farms

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The Royal New Zealand SPCA is delighted by news of a government grant of $300,000 to help with the cost of investigating farm animal welfare cases.

The Minister of Agriculture, the Hon. Jim Anderton, announced the one year grant this weekend, when opening the SPCA's 75th anniversary 'Jubilee Conference' in Auckland.

Mr Anderton cited the heavy load that drought conditions were placing on MAF enforcement officers and the vital role that SPCA inspectors play in ensuring compliance with animal welfare standards.

"We're incredibly grateful for this one-off grant. It will be used to upgrade our inspectorate's ability to work in the rural sector and coordinate its activities with MAF," says the Royal New Zealand SPCA's National Chief Executive, Robyn Kippenberger.

"At present, approximately 30 percent of our inspector's activities are connected with farm animals. This percentage is rising fast and is likely to rise further, as drought conditions continue to impact on farms.

"The SPCA does not normally receive government funding but relies instead on the generosity of hundreds of thousands of caring New Zealanders to keep going. However, there is increasing pressure on our inspectors in rural areas and we felt the need to seek some relief. The grant is an acknowledgement of the important role our inspectors are already playing," she adds.

SPCA National President Peter Mason says that the Society's inspectors already work closely with MAF enforcement officers, improving and maintaining animal welfare on farms.

"Whether they do the job full-time or part-time, our inspectors all go through a thorough process of training and are very professional in their approach. With the help of the $300,000 grant, we can ensure they will now be even better equipped to do their job.

"As Agriculture Minister, Mr Anderton has consistently shown a strong commitment to animal welfare both for its own sake and because of the pivotal role agricultural exports play in our economy.

"The Minister clearly shares our understanding that the highest possible welfare standards are essential if our produce is to meet the requirements of informed and critical overseas consumers. Drought conditions undoubtedly place pressures on farmers but ignoring animal welfare just isn't an option," says Mr Mason.


ENDS

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