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Industry Outed For More Pig Cruelty

For Immediate Release
2 November 2009

Industry Outed For More Pig Cruelty

New evidence reveals pig cruelty continues on New Zealand farms.

Animal advocates have commenced an unprecedented consumer-focussed assault on the nation’s pig industry following the Campbell Live programme earlier tonight. National animal advocacy group SAFE says new video footage reveals pig cruelty is still rife on New Zealand pig farms.

SAFE also claims the pig-farm audit and proposed labelling scheme announced by the pig industry, both intended to address pig welfare issues, are meaningless.

“The pig-farm audit is a waste of time since the pig code of welfare allows pig farmers to use cruel practices on their farms. The labelling of pig products suggested by the Pork Board will be a voluntary scheme that will not help consumers or pigs. No factory pig farmer is going to voluntarily tell consumers they use cruel pig crates,” says Hans Kriek, SAFE’s campaign director.

“The NZ Pork Industry Board has failed to convince us they have done anything meaningful to help pigs since the serious allegations of pig cruelty exposed by Mike King earlier this year. Those same pigs we saw on television in May are undoubtedly still inside those crates today,” says Mr Kriek.

An internal memo leaked to SAFE reveals the NZ Pork Industry Board wants to retain the use of sow and farrowing crates, a move that will see sows in crates for a total of 20 weeks per year.

“Any suggestion of phasing out the use of sow crates by the pig industry is rubbish. The NZ Pork Industry Board has no intention of supporting a ban on cruel confinement systems, and we can prove it,” says Mr Kriek.

SAFE says the public will also be bitterly disappointed to learn that the new pig code of welfare, as promised this year by the Minister of Agriculture, has also been delayed.

“SAFE understands the review of the pig code by the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee is well behind schedule. We doubt we will see any sign of a draft code this year, which will mean over 20,000 pigs in crates will continue to suffer until next year, if not longer,” says Mr Kriek.

SAFE has released a series of consumer-focused television advertisements fronted by Mike King. The commercials have been produced with the assistance of top creative advertising agencies in Australia and New Zealand.

“Consumers are being encouraged to pressure supermarkets to stop selling factory farmed pork and to accurately label the pig meat that they sell in their stores,” says Mr Kriek.

ENDS

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