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SPCA Sow Stall Campaign To Be "Biggest Ever"

ROYAL NEW ZEALAND SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS

For immediate release: 26 September 2001

SPCA SOW STALL CAMPAIGN TO BE "BIGGEST EVER"

New Zealand's leading animal welfare organisation is promising its biggest campaign to date in a bid to outlaw sow stalls.

The Royal New Zealand SPCA's council has opted for the campaign after eighteen months of talks with the Pork Industry Board ground to a standstill earlier this month.

"Despite the advice of the Minister of Agriculture and the concerns expressed by the SPCA, the pork industry stubbornly insists on the continued use of these tight metal cages to confine pregnant pigs," says SPCA national campaign coordinator Hans Kriek

"Sow stalls are so small that pigs can't walk or turn round in them. The animals are kept in these cages for months on end and suffer greatly as a result.

"In response to the pork industry's stonewalling, we're now organising our biggest ever animal welfare campaign. It will start in mid October and will mobilise the New Zealand public, supermarkets, the farming community and politicians against this cruel confinement system," he says.

According to Hans Kriek, an upcoming government review of the Welfare Code for Pigs will give New Zealanders their first effective opportunity to voice their opposition to sow stalls.

"Government is obliged to take note of public opinion in setting minimum animal welfare standards. The signs are that New Zealanders increasingly want high standards in these areas and find sow stalls abhorrent. We expect this to be reflected in a very large number of submissions to the review.

"Our campaign has already received a major boost from The Body Shop, which has offered its shops as collecting points for submissions, once again demonstrating its exemplary commitment to humane and compassionate causes," he says.

"New Zealanders don't need to wait for the government review in order to express their total rejection of sow stalls. They can start right now boycotting all pork unless it's clearly labelled as organic or free range," Mr Kriek adds.

For further information, please contact: Hans Kriek SPCA national campaign coordinator 04 389 8044 or 025 679 0769

Released by Ian Morrison, Matter of Fact Communications Tel: 09 575 3223, Fax: 09 575 3220, Email: matfact@ww.co.nz

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