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Farmwatch; New Footage Damning for Pork Industry

Farmwatch; New Footage Damning for Pork Industry


Footage obtained by Farmwatch and screened on the Sunday Program last night put an Auckland pig farm on display and gave a glimpse for the first time into how pork industry workers treat pigs when they think no one is watching. This footage was obtained through the use of a hidden camera on a pig farm; the first time that this has been done in New Zeland.

Spokesperson for Farmwatch John Darroch says "Our footage shows multiple farm workers engaging in callous abuse of pigs during the regular Monday morning loading of pigs onto trucks. Consumers should be very concerned that the first time we have ever used a hidden camera this is what we found. It certainly suggests that this is a systemic and cultural issue within the pork industry."

The Pork Industry's response to last week's expose of a Christchurch piggery was their typical response every time animal rights activists release footage. NZ Pork's media statement last week said "The farm featured in the programme is not condoned by the industry and is not typical of a New Zealand commercial pig farm."

This "rogue farm" suggestion was identical to their response to ex-director of the Pork Industry Board Colin Kaye's farm being exposed on the Sunday Program in 2009. 5 years on and activists are still finding the same conditions in every farm they investigate around the country.

Farmwatch is today releasing brand new footage of New Zealand pig farms all obtained within the last few weeks. Farmwatch has new footage from two farms in Hawera and Taupiri and is happy to make it available on request.

Of the Hawera and Taupiri footage John Darroch says, “Disturbingly, in one farm we found a shopping cart which had been converted into a table for carrying out medical procedures on piglets. This cart was caked with dried blood and the instruments on it were filthy. Along one end of the cart were lines of pigs tails which had been hung up in some kind of macabre display.

"The pork industry's denials ring hollow when we continue to find the same things across the country. It is well past time for the Government to step up and make some real changes for these animals."

The Animal Agenda campaign recently wrote to all New Zealand Political Parties asking for their response to ten animal welfare policies put forward by the campaign. On the issue of intensive farming the Labour, Greens, Mana and Internet parties have all indicated they support a phase out of intensive factory farming. UnitedFuture supported a move to phase out factory farming with some reservations. New Zealand First gave no specific response on the issue. Meanwhile National and the Maori Party indicated that no further measures need to be taken.

Farmwatch believes Labour's new position on factory farming brings hope that intensive farming practices could be put on the agenda for the 2014 election. Spokesperson John Darroch says, "Despite the public being behind us in our campaign to end intensive farming practices in New Zealand real change has remained out of sight while our two major political parties have either kept silent or actively opposed our campaign. With Labour finally on board it is now time to put the pressure on National to follow suit or face the consequences at the election from their horrified constituents."

Labour's animal rights spokesperson Trevor Mallard responded to the Animal Agenda campaign with the following policy on Factory Farming:

"Abolish all forms of intensive and battery farming practices, including sow stalls, farrowing crates, and battery cages, on or before January 1, 2017: Labour is likely to go further than these examples, but with a larger time scale for all intensive farming."

A sample of images from Hawera can be seen at:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/93911830@N06/sets/72157645525418581/

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