Demands for Labour to uphold pre-election promise, as pig farm caught flouting the law

Shocking new footage has been released by SAFE showing pregnant pigs confined in sow stalls. The use of these metal cages has been banned since 2015.

"Contrary to claims made today by NZ Pork, we have evidence that these cages were used as 'sow stalls', rather than so-called 'mating stalls," says Hans Kriek, SAFE spokesperson.

After sow stalls were banned, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said they would be auditing pig farms to ensure they were following the law. This finding shows the lack of law enforcement protecting farmed animals in New Zealand.

“Why has this farm been allowed to break the law for more than two years after sow stalls were banned? How many other farms are still using them? There needs to be an urgent audit of all pig farms and all those breaking animal welfare legislation need to be shut down.”

The system for protecting animal welfare law is broken. It’s time to strip MPI of its animal welfare responsibilities and set up a fully-resourced, independent animal welfare Commission to effectively protect animals.

Farmwatch investigators also filmed rows of large sows in farrowing crates; metal cages that were far too small for them. This is blatant cruelty. It’s appalling to see mother pigs trapped in cages so small that the bars dig into their sides. For weeks at a time, they can’t even turn around.

Kiwis are strongly opposed to trapping pigs in cages. Horizon Research poll conducted in May, 73% of New Zealanders support a ban on farrowing crates. A petition to ban farrowing crates, with over 112,000 signatures, was delivered to Parliament in March.

Prior to the 2017 election, the Labour Party made a commitment to end farrowing crates. SAFE says it’s time to honour that policy.

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IMAGE: On the first visit pig 86 was filmed in a sow stall, on the second visit she was in a farrowing crate. This confirms that the farm was using the sow stalls illegally.

12 July 2018