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Hundreds To Gather In Wellington To Urge Government To Fund Transition To Plant-based Agriculture

Animal rights activists are set to descend on the capital this Saturday for the Wellington Animal Rights March.

Initiated by a local grassroots activist group, Wellington Vegan Actions, and supported by SAFE, the march brings together activists from across the country to demand justice for animals from the incoming government.

Demands include funding for a transition from animal agriculture to plant-based agriculture, mandated transparency of animal agriculture through the installation of cameras, and provision of education and subsidies for plant-based whole foods.

Wellington Animal Rights March spokesperson, Fran Elizabeth, says the level of unnecessary suffering across the country is staggering.

"Each year, over 160 million animals are needlessly killed in Aotearoa."

"The Animal Welfare Act 1999 sets out the needs of animals which must be met by persons in charge. However, animals bred for slaughter, animals considered as pests, and those used in scientific research are exempt from most of the protections in the Act," says Elizabeth.

"In 2020, over 500 animal rights advocates marched to Parliament to demand justice for non-human animals. We are excited to gather again this Saturday, to once again march for the justice of all beings who inhabit Aotearoa."

The March will begin at 12pm at Te Ngākau Civic Square, ending at Parliament where speeches will be given by animal rights activists to educate people on a range of issues facing animals in Aotearoa.

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Speakers will include SAFE CEO Debra Ashton, Executive Director of The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) Tara Jackson, Country Liaison for Animal Save New Zealand Elin Arbez, Lyss Baumgartner, caretaker at Black Sheep Animal Sanctuary, and Animal Justice Party Aotearoa New Zealand (AJP) member, Lily Carrington.

SAFE CEO Debra Ashton says this is a chance for the incoming government to illustrate their commitment to a sustainable future.

"Now is the time to have a conversation about our current farming systems and whether they are fit for purpose going into the future and whether they align with the requirements under the act," says Ashton.

"The incoming Government has major obligations to meet its climate obligations. Agriculture is our largest greenhouse gas emitter, and reform is urgently needed for the survival of our communities and the planet."

Event officials and a media spokesperson will be present at the event for live interviews from 12.00pm, if preferred. Otherwise available before the event as required.

The event web page can be found here.

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