Slaughterhouse Plays Cat and Mouse with Activists
Tuesday 17th April
Delaying Operations and Hiding from the Public Eye, Slaughterhouse Plays Cat and Mouse with Activists
Over the weekend Christchurch Animal Save hosted their first ever vigil to encourage the public to boycott animals products, outside Silver Fern Farms in Christchurch. Over 30 people attended the peaceful demonstration.
“We were there to bear witness to the animals being dropped off for slaughter and to share our experiences with the rest of New Zealand. We want to help the public make the connection that what they are eating, is a living, sentient being; not just a neatly packaged product on a shelf," spokesperson Amy O’Brien said.
On arrival, demonstrators were met with a recently hung shade cloth that had been attached to the fence-line to prevent the activists from seeing inside. A team of specially hired security guards were also at the scene and Silver Fern Farms wasn't operating as normal. Instead, there were no animals or workers onsite.
“They clearly had something to hide from us and the rest of the public. There is a lot of power in showing people photos or video footage of these animals on their way to slaughter. Kiwis are animal lovers and when we are confronted with the reality of what these animals lives are like, it is easy for us to choose a more ethical lifestyle", said Miss O’Brien.
After being told by security that operations were delayed, demonstrators moved their vigil to the nearby roadside with large placards and signs. Shortly after the group had moved on, Silver Fern Farms resumed operating and numerous trucks started arriving.
"Once we found out we had been lied to, we returned and continued our vigil outside the farm. We saw electric prodders being used to force cattle into pens. These pens had concrete floors and there was no visible access to food for the animals. We know that this is where they are left to wait until the morning when the killing floor will open," added Miss O’Brien.
“We also want to make it clear that we have no animosity for the truck drivers or workers, we are there for the animals, not to personally attack anyone", she stated.
Christchurch Animal Save plans to hold regular vigils and bear witness at Silver Ferns Farm and other facilities around Canterbury. The Save Movement is a worldwide network of groups bearing witness to farmed animals. For more information go to thesavemovement.org