Farrowing Crates Will Be Scrutinised In The Wellington High Court Today
SAFE and the New Zealand Animal Law Association (NZALA) will appear in court today. They will demonstrate that farrowing crates violate the Animal Welfare Act 1999.
By filing legal proceedings, SAFE and NZALA wish to compel the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) and the Minister of Agriculture to act lawfully, to improve their legal procedures and to adopt a more robust legal understanding of their duties. They filed proceedings in February last year.
SAFE CEO Debra Ashton says, "This is a historic case. It’s the first time a Code of Welfare has been challenged in court."
Ashton says this case is about giving mother pigs the freedom to live more natural lives and respecting them as sentient, instead of treating them as simply ‘units of production.’
NZALA's president Saar Cohen says "NZALA believes that NAWAC and MPI have a legal duty to phase-out farrowing crates, a duty which they have both failed to perform. Their duty to the law must come first, before promotion of economic interests of the production sector".
Currently nearly half of mother pigs on New Zealand farms spend over three months of each year confined in a cage too small for them to turn around or nurse their baby piglets properly.
On multiple occasions, NAWAC has stated that the use of farrowing crates should be phased out.