Animal cruelty investigation leads to convictionJuly 28th, 2016
Justice has been belatedly served for the calves brutalised by a slaughterhouse worker, according to animal advocacy charity SAFE. The worker was today sentenced to 10 months home detention and community service. SAFE says animal rights groups can take the credit for the conviction, as the cruelty would not have come to light without their daring investigation.
The undercover operation caught the worker violently kicking calves and even bashing them to death. Footage from the investigation screened on national television and caused a public outcry. Other footage that did not result in a prosecution showed calves taken away from their mothers after birth, left to languish in exposed pens, and thrown into trucks to be taken to slaughter.
“This conviction would not have happened without the undercover investigation by animal rights activists,” says SAFE Executive Director Hans Kriek. “It is alarming that activists have to risk life and limb to expose animal cruelty, all because of the lack of effort from the authorities to detect and prevent systemic animal suffering. How much more abuse is happening out there?”
While justice may have been served for the calves abused by the slaughter worker, SAFE is concerned that not enough is done to protect the welfare of the millions of calves born into the dairy industry each year. Around two million of these calves are surplus to requirements and are killed at only a few days old. These animals are often roughly handled and are forced to endure stressful transport conditions.
“Every year, activists expose serious animal cruelty in various industries. And every year, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) promises action, but very little seems to change. A few laws or standards may be tinkered with, but without enforcement, including unannounced animal welfare inspections, animals will continue to be ill-treated,” says Mr Kriek.
SAFE is calling for animal welfare to be separated from MPI and adequate funding for a new animal welfare body so that it can actually enforce the law.