National & ACT Parties Behind On Helping Animals
National and ACT behind on helping animals
Early voting has started and SAFE is reminding people that their vote can impact millions of lives. All registered parties were surveyed on a range of key animal welfare issues with the results being allocated scores out of a possible 26. National received the lowest score with -11, the Green Party the highest with 23. Labour scored 14.
“National has bowed to huge public pressure on battery cages and sow stalls but refuses to end the use of all cages for layer hens or farrowing crates for pigs. Sows still suffer in farrowing crates, and adding a few bits of plastic and a perch to cages for hens simply is not good enough. New Zealanders want cages gone from our farms and the time to do so is long overdue,” says SAFE policy advisor Stephen Manson.
“The over 100 hundred million animals in intensive factory farms, most of them meat chickens shut in overcrowded sheds, cannot even go outside. Their short lives are full of suffering and can be improved greatly by politicians.”
When asked if they would end factory farming the Green Party said, “Our policy is to prohibit new, and phase out existing, factory farming of animals, including highly intensive outdoor facilities such as feedlots.” The Labour Party also said they would work towards an end to factory farming over time.
The National Party confirmed they would not end factory farming as they believe there is a place for some indoor farming. ACT also replied saying they would not support a ban. New Zealand First and the Maori Party indicated support for ending factory farming but gave no firm commitment to a ban yet.
“Countless people have told us they are voting partly with animals in mind. The sooner the last parties dragging the chain on this issue realise people across the political spectrum want action on this, the better,” added Mr Manson.
SAFE has published the results of the animal policy survey online at www.voteforlucy.nz. Parties were asked for their policies on a range of popular animal welfare issues such as live export, rodeo and greyhound racing. The website calls on people to consider animals like Lucy, the mother pig confined in a crate shown on the website, whenever they vote between now and 23 September.
1. Policy questions asked, and information on the replies, are online.
2. High resolution photos from New Zealand factory farms can be downloaded and used.
3. Party responses on banning factory farming were:
o Labour: “Yes, over time.”
o Green: “Our policy is to prohibit new, and phase out existing, factory farming of animals, including highly intensive outdoor facilities such as feedlots.”
o National: “No, National believes that there is a place for some indoor farming provided that the wellbeing of animals in these systems is being met. For example, all systems must provide adequate food, water, shelter and other physical requirements for animals to be met.”
o ACT: “ACT would not support the banning of all factory farming because this would lead to a reduction in affordable meat for the consumer.”