“Appalling” pig farm allowed to continue after charges of animal crueltyJune 27th, 2018
SAFE and Farmwatch are appalled that the same Waikato piggery found to have been housing starving and injured pigs in 2014 was allowed to continue operating after charges were laid by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). The piggery was later the subject of a Farmwatch investigation in 2015 where they uncovered further inhumane conditions. On Monday MPI announced that no one has been held accountable for the original overcrowded piggery complaint, due to insufficient evidence around who was responsible.
In 2014, at Waikato piggery Kaimai Pork Limited, piglets were found living in their own excrement, without enough food and without adequate care for injuries sustained at the piggery. MPI inspected the farm after complaints about the noise and laid charges against the farm in December of that year. That same farm was investigated by Farmwatch in 2015. The piggery continued to operate until it was liquidated in October 2016.
SAFE Head of Campaigns Marianne Macdonald says piglets are extremely vulnerable and keeping them in such cruel and overcrowded conditions is unacceptable.
“We have animal welfare regulations that are supposed to protect animals. People who are under investigation should be closely monitored. It is shocking that this piggery has effectively been caught out twice in quick succession, and no one has been punished.”
Farmwatch spokesperson John Darroch says conditions were appalling when they investigated the farm in 2015 – after it was signed off by MPI.
“It was like something out of a horror film. Pens were overcrowded and flooded, with water dripping in. The shed was filthy with faeces all throughout the pens. There was nowhere dry or clean for the pigs to lie down.”
Macdonald says MPI should be doing more to ensure that farms and farmers found breaching the Animal Welfare Act are regularly checked on through unannounced inspections, or ideally are shut down completely.
“It’s a huge worry that even when the piggery knew they were under investigation, they were so unconcerned that they still continued to keep animals in terrible conditions. Even worse, they have gone completely unpunished. The New Zealand public should be very wary over the treatment of our animals.”