Otago farmer receives formal warning for illegal sow stall useNovember 2nd, 2018
SAFE are deeply frustrated with MPI for only issuing a warning to a Timaru pig farm after an investigation was prompted by shocking footage of illegal animal cruelty captured by Farmwatch.
MPI animal welfare inspectors visited the Timaru pig farm in July this year after footage released by Farmwatch showed pigs kept in sow stalls, which have been illegal since 2015. A recent statement made by MPI announced that the farm was only issued with a warning.
SAFE’s Head of Campaigns, Marianne Macdonald, says this is further evidence that MPI is incapable of holding the pig industry to account when they break the law which is why we are asking the Government to protect animal welfare with an independent crown entity with adequate regulatory and enforcement powers.
“The current monitoring and enforcement model is broken. Despite MPI’s commitment to regularly audit the pig industry, it took an investigation by Farmwatch volunteers to expose this illegal activity. Even then, those responsible for breaching the Pig Welfare Code only got a warning. This type of law breaking could be happening on other farms and the public won’t know due to MPI’s inaction.”
The same farm was shown to be using farrowing crates much too small for the sows confined within them.
“At the vulnerable time these mother pigs were trying to nurture their babies, they were in crates so small that metal bars dug into their sides. Many were unable to lie down without having their faces wedged under their feeding troughs, as the crates were shorter than their bodies. This is an appalling way to treat any animal, especially one who has just given birth.”
Last week SAFE gave an oral submission to the Primary Production Select Committee, where they pressed the Government to ban the use of farrowing crates.
“This week we’ve seen Countdown supermarkets removing from their shelves pork from pigs whose mothers are trapped in farrowing crates. It’s clear that New Zealanders reject the cruel caging of pigs. It’s time the Government takes action on their pre-election promise to end the use of farrowing crates.”