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Mike King Condemns NZ Pig Cruelty

18 May 2009
Media Release

Mike King Latest Celebrity Kingpin To Condemn New Zealand Pig Cruelty

The New Zealand Pork Industry has been dealt a shameful public relations slap-in-the-face after its former celebrity kingpin, Mike King, ousted their farming practices as “brutal,”“callous” and “evil” on last night’s Sunday programme.

The award-winning comedy icon has become the latest high-profile celebrity to publicly condemn the appalling treatment of factory farmed pigs. Mike King decided to see first hand the horrific conditions inside a New Zealand piggery. During his 45-minute ordeal he observed:

- a dead female pig inside a sow stall
- lame, crippled pigs and others that could barely stand
- pigs either extremely depressed or highly distressed
- bar biting, scars and injuries
- pigs excessively frothing at the mouth
- a lack of clean drinking water and food

“Sow crate farming should be illegal and we should outlaw it right now. It is absolutely disgusting and I am sorry that I was part of it,” says Mr King.

National animal advocacy organisation SAFE is delighted to have the weight of Mike King behind them. King has vowed to back SAFE’s LovePigs campaign until sow stalls are banned.

“I didn’t know it [sow stalls] was going on. The New Zealand public didn’t know it was going on. I honestly believed our clean green image and the way we love animals would never, never, ever allow that crap to go on,” says King. “I am deeply ashamed that I was blinded by, and took part in, promoting this style of farming.”

SAFE campaign director Hans Kriek says “SAFE applauds Mike King for his courage to speak out against cruel pig farming practices. After spending seven years urging kiwis to eat New Zealand pork Mike King has vowed to never again eat factory farmed pork because he is so horrified by what he saw. We expect a wave of protests and consumer boycotts from outraged consumers.”

“A consumer boycott of cruelly produced pig products is the only way to force the pork industry to change from cruel confinement systems. A review of the pig welfare code later this year is unlikely to recommend any significant changes, meaning consumers need to use their supermarket trolleys as a form of protest. Mike King and SAFE are urging consumers to not buy factory farmed pig products.”

PROTEST TODAY:
A protest in Christchurch today kicks off activities around the country. The protest will be held at 4.30pm outside the electorate office of the Minister of Agriculture, David Carter.

Links:
To read Mike King’s story visit: http://www.lovepigs.org.nz/Latest-news/Mike-King-story/

To view the complete list of New Zealand politicians, athletes, comedians, actors, musicians, academics and well-known television personalities who support the LovePigs campaign visit: http://www.lovepigs.org.nz/Famous-kiwis/

ENDS

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