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NZ must toughen up pathetic animal welfare laws

NZ must toughen up pathetic animal welfare laws

The Minister of Agriculture David Carter must toughen up New Zealand's weak animal welfare codes that mean hens can be kept in horrifyingly cruel conditions, Green Party animal welfare spokesperson Sue Kedgley said today.

TVNZ's Sunday programme last night revealed that many poultry farms around New Zealand are using cages that were banned in 2008, and are keeping hens in horrifying and unhygienic conditions.

"A senior Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) official admitted on camera that New Zealand's animal welfare codes are effectively shams," said Ms Kedgley.

"MAF admitted they know there are poultry farms that keep hens in cages that were banned in 2008, but claim they cannot prosecute because animal welfare codes do not have regulatory or legal force.

"The Minister of Agriculture must end this farcical situation," said Ms Kedgley.

"New Zealanders who watched the Sunday programme last night will have been horrified by both the cruel conditions thousands of hens have to endure, and by the bureaucratic nightmare that means MAF does nothing about animal cruelty.

"MAF's attitude and response to shocking scenes of animal cruelty undermines the public's confidence in our entire animal welfare system.

"The Minister must take immediate action to restore public confidence by giving our animal welfare codes some teeth," said Ms Kedgley Note: The Green Party has pledged to end the practice of keeping all hens in cages.

Authorised by Sue Kedgley MP, Bowen House, Wellington

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