Labour and Greens ahead of National in animal welfare policiesAugust 10th, 2017
SAFE says voters may be surprised by party policies on animal welfare with political parties holding very different views when it comes to the animal issues that Kiwis care about. In SAFE’s ‘Vote for Lucy’ campaign, National is given an overall score of -7, whilst the Green Party, Labour and Mana receive 23, 14, and 14 respectively, out of a possible total score of 26.
SAFE has released this information, gathered from short survey requests to the parties, as they launch the ‘Vote for Lucy’ election campaign, today, 10 August. They erected the first of their thought-provoking election hoardings in Auckland, with the help of a ‘giant pig’. Pictured on the hoarding is a mother pig imprisoned in a farrowing crate with the accompanying message, ‘Your vote could help to free her’. Lucy, the featured pig, was found living in such restrictive conditions in SAFE and Farmwatch’s recent Waikato pig farm investigation.
The Vote for Lucy website (www.voteforlucy.nz), gives a summary of all political parties’ positions on issues impacting animals in New Zealand. Parties were asked their policies on factory farming, live export, animal testing, rodeo, greyhound racing and more. The campaign aims to empower voters with information, so they can make an informed choice when casting their votes on 23 September.
The website includes a video featuring Emmett Skilton, star of the television show The Almighty Johnsons, showing people how they can encourage politicians to do more for animals. Polling has shown over 75% of Kiwis want farrowing crates banned, so if politicians claim to be representing the views of voters they ought to support an end to the use of farrowing crates.
Thanks to campaigns led by SAFE and supported by the New Zealand public, law changes have been pushed through resulting in a ban on sow stalls in pig farming; a phasing-out of old-style battery cages; and a ban on animal testing for cosmetics and legal highs. SAFE says that while these are steps in the right direction, a lot more progress is needed.
“Factory farming is the most pressing animal welfare issue of our time, with an astounding figure of over 100 million animals intensively farmed every single year. Previous government decisions have allowed cruel farming conditions. New Zealand’s animal welfare regulations have condemned hens to live in colony cages so small they cannot even stretch their wings, and mother pigs can be trapped in farrowing crates in which they have difficulty lying down,” says SAFE campaigns officer and policy advisor Stephen Manson. “Future political decisions have the potential to put an end to factory farm cruelty, but this will only happen when New Zealanders make informed choices in how they cast their votes.”
“Kiwis care about animals and their votes can change the lives of millions of animals. As well as those in factory farms, the thousands of dogs and horses injured and killed by the racing industry, and the animals suffering in rodeo training and events can all be helped,” says Mr Manson. “Kiwis are compassionate, and taking animals into account when we vote is one easy way we can show we care.”