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Political Parties Neglect Animals

MEDIA RELEASE


29 October 2008


Political Parties Neglect Animals


New Zealand’s main political parties support a Commissioner for Animals, cruelty free labelling and a ban of circuses with exotic animals, yet almost all fall short in protecting the welfare of over 100 million animals in New Zealand.

Animal advocates warn the parties must formulate comprehensive animal welfare polices that protect animals, given the vast majority of voters are animal lovers who abhor cruelty to animals.

A survey conducted by national animal advocacy organisation SAFE, found that most political parties remain complacent and woefully ignorant about how the nation’s animals are treated. Each party was asked to complete a survey and state their position on a range of animal welfare issues. SAFE says the results of the survey were a shocking disappointment.

“The survey results reveal the nation’s political parties have a cavalier and careless attitude towards animal welfare issues such as caged layer hens, factory farming of pigs and chickens, live sheep exports and genetic engineering. New Zealanders who care about the treatment of animals will be appalled to know their favoured party might be willing to sanction animal abuse. The Green Party is the only party with a detailed animal welfare policy that takes animal welfare issues seriously,” says campaign director Hans Kriek.

The most surprising and naïve statement came from the Progressive Party. They stated: “When it comes to battery farming of hens, we can’t just open the cages and let the hens out. That would be extremely cruel as they would mostly be dead within a week as a result.”

“It is worrying the most naïve and ignorant response comes from the minister responsible for animal welfare in New Zealand. Jim Anderton’s statements are inaccurate and demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of the issues addressed,” says Mr Kriek.

New Zealand’s political parties: Are they animal friendly? (Rating 0-10)
Labour Party = 0
National Party = 1
Green Party = 9
Progressive Party = 0
United Future = 5
Act = 0
Maori Party = 3
NZ First Party = 0

To view party positions on animal welfare visit: http://safe.org.nz/Campaigns/Politics-and-animals/

ends

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