Call for independent voice for animalsDecember 7th, 2015
Animal campaigners are outraged that the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has still failed to take action against an animal-abusing slaughterhouse and are calling for a major overhaul of the Ministry. On 14th September SAFE filed a complaint with MPI regarding the brutal treatment of bobby calves and provided damning filmed evidence. That footage came to light on the Sunday programme and has caused massive public outrage.
“MPI’s response has been a mess. They still haven’t announced any progress on prosecuting those responsible for the cruelty and do not seem to have a plan to stop it happening again,” says SAFE executive director Hans Kriek.
SAFE believes the government needs to take urgent action to combat the deliberate abuse of animals in this country. The organisation says that to even begin to address the issue, the government needs to:
- separate out animal welfare from the Ministry for Primary Industries to avoid a conflict of interest and
- allocate sufficient funding to animal welfare
“Only an independent voice for animals – with enough funding to enforce the rules – will be able to make a difference. MPI, as an organisation tasked with promoting agriculture, cannot be relied on to look after animal welfare,” says Mr Kriek. “This has already been recognised by the Labour and Green parties, who have separate portfolios for animal welfare and agriculture.”
The recent bobby calf expose has highlighted major animal welfare problems and government failure to prevent or address animal abuse. This issue has received massive attention and SAFE is serious about achieving real change for these animals.
“With 95 percent of New Zealand dairy consumed overseas, an international audience can help demand an end to the abuse of dairy calves,” says Mr Kriek. To that end SAFE placed an advert in the UK Guardian, calling on consumers to take action. “The spotlight is now on New Zealand to take meaningful action for these animals.” SAFE will not expand its international advertising any further at this stage so that the focus can go back to the welfare of the animals and the government and industry are given a chance to act. “International pressure will resume if the plight of the animals is ignored.”
“In New Zealand, animals and their products generate over 20 billion dollars each year, yet only 0.03 per cent ends up in the government’s budget for animal welfare,” says Mr Kriek. “It is time for change and an independent animal welfare department, with sufficient funding, must be put in place without delay.”