Pig farm caught flouting the law
12 July 2018 | MEDIA RELEASE
Demands for Labour to uphold pre-election promise, as pig farm caught flouting the law
Shocking new footage has been released by SAFE showing pregnant pigs confined in sow stalls. The use of these metal cages has been banned since 2015. SAFE says finding pigs trapped in these stalls clearly shows the lack of law enforcement protecting farmed animals in New Zealand.
"Contrary to claims made today by NZ Pork, we have evidence that these cages were used as 'sow stalls', rather than so-called 'mating stalls," says Hans Kriek, SAFE spokesperson.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has responsibility for monitoring animal welfare and enforcing the law. After sow stalls were banned, MPI said they would be auditing pig farms to ensure they were following the law.
“Why has this farm been allowed to break the law for more than two years after sow stalls were banned? How many other farms are still using them?” says “There needs to be an urgent audit of all pig farms and all those breaking animal welfare legislation need to be shut down.”
“We’ve repeatedly said that the system for protecting animal welfare law is broken. It’s shameful that, again, it’s been left up to volunteer investigators to expose cruelty and law-breaking. It’s time to strip MPI of its animal welfare responsibilities and set up a fully-resourced, independent animal welfare Ministry to effectively protect animals.”
Farmwatch investigators also filmed rows of large sows in farrowing crates; metal cages that were far too small for them. Many sows were unable to even able lie down without having their faces wedged under their feeding troughs and the cage bars diggin into their sides.
“This is blatant cruelty. It’s appalling to see mother pigs trapped in cages so small that the bars dig into their sides. For weeks at a time, they can’t even turn around. Farrowing crates cause severe emotional deprivation and they have to be outlawed, just as sow stalls were.”
Kiwis are strongly opposed to trapping pigs in cages. In a Horizon Research poll conducted in May, 73% of New Zealanders support a ban on farrowing crates. A petition to ban farrowing crates, with over 112,000 signatures, was delivered to Parliament in March.
Prior to the 2017 election, the Labour Party made a commitment to end farrowing crates. SAFE says it’s time to honour that policy. “Labour made Kiwis a promise that they’d ban farrowing crates. The time has come to act,” adds Kriek.