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Cocktails for Industry Officials, Squalor for Pigs

Cocktails for Industry Officials, Squalor for Pigs

When members of the pork industry meet at their annual conference at Auckland’s Novotel Hotel today, animal advocates are expecting urgent action to address cruelty issues on factory farms.

Animal advocacy group SAFE says pork industry officials will enjoy perks such as a cocktail party while they continue to leave pigs living in squalor.

SAFE head of campaigns Mandy Carter says whilst they are sipping on cocktails and giving themselves a pat on the back, pigs are still suffering – some in cages so small, they cannot even turn around. “We are demanding urgent action from an industry that can no longer ignore these major issues.”

The conference, which begins today, comes after new footage showing that pigs are continuing to suffer on factory pig farms. The recent exposé on TV ONE’s Sunday programme showed investigators at a farm in Christchurch, where they found a sow in a farrowing crate so tight her newborn piglets were squashed to death, with others dying. They also found overcrowding of ‘fattening pens’ with dozens of rats running over them. Some pigs had infected eyes and there was a dead pig. The farm carried the PigCare Accreditation label that supposedly assures consumers that the pigs are well taken care of. Another farm was also caught out with farmer workers seen physically abusing the animals.

The only statement from NZPork concerning the recent exposés saw the industry condemning the farmer and highlighting the PigCare scheme. “By pointing the finger at the farmer, the industry is trying to scapegoat him for what we believe is an industry-wide problem. It also does nothing to change cruel practices such as farrowing crates and barren fattening pens. The PigCare scheme is completely bogus and cannot reassure consumers.

“We are holding NZPork accountable for animal cruelty and are calling on the public to join us in boycotting pork,” says Ms Carter.

SAFE also has a stern warning for NZPork. “Labour came out recently as taking a strong stand against factory farming, so if the industry is not prepared to make a change voluntarily they may well be forced to do it.”

Following the pork board conference there will be a National Day of Action Against Factory Farming on Saturday, 26 July, at 1pm. Animal advocates and members of the public all over New Zealand will rally in response to the horrific conditions on pig factory farms. Rallies will take place in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Hamilton.

ends

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