'It Is Overdue For The Government To Appoint A Commissioner For Animals' - SAFE’s And NZALA’s Open Letter To PM
Last month the High Court found that the Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor, on the advice of the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC), had acted unlawfully by not phasing out the use of farrowing crates and mating stalls.
Now that the Government has accepted the Court’s decision, SAFE and the New Zealand Animal Law Association (NZALA) have written an open letter to the Prime Minister asking her to appoint a Commissioner for Animals. The letter was published in the New Zealand Herald this morning.
SAFE CEO Debra Ashton said this Government needs to get serious about animal welfare.
"NAWAC failed to uphold the law, and mother pigs suffered as a result," said Ashton.
"We have animal welfare legislation for a reason, because we recognize that animals have needs. We are calling for better systems that will put animal welfare first."
New Zealand Animal Law Association President Saar Cohen said, "the judgment highlights the need to oversee NAWAC’s actions and provide leadership and guidance to all animal welfare agencies."
"A parliamentary Commissioner for Animals will do that, as well as advocate for animals and ensure fair representation of animal interests in Government decision making."
NZALA and SAFE filed proceedings in February last year over the Minister’s and NAWAC’s failure to phase out the use of farrowing crates.