News Blog Articles Animal cruelty investigation leads to conviction

Animal cruelty investigation leads to conviction

July 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.


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