News Blog Articles More whistleblowers emerge as animal cruelty footage released
More whistleblowers emerge as animal cruelty footage released

More whistleblowers emerge as animal cruelty footage released

June 29th, 2018

After disturbing footage of animal abuse on a Northland dairy farm was released yesterday, we are demanding that the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) be stripped of its animal welfare responsibilities and an independent Animal Welfare Ministry be set up.

“The Ministry needs to explain why they failed to act when they had specific information, a year ago, about abuse taking place,” says SAFE spokesperson Hans Kriek. “Instead they allowed this farmer to continue beating his cows.”

Since Newsroom broke the story, both SAFE and Farmwatch have received messages from whistle-blowers, detailing new cases of cruelty being inflicted on dairy cows.

Some of the incidents described are even more brutal than the beatings exposed at the Northland farm. Animal abuse appears to be significantly more common than many farmers are willing to admit. There is also a culture of silence in many rural communities, with people scared to report cruelty they’ve witnessed for fear of reprisals.

“The system is broken. MPI is tasked with monitoring animal welfare, but this strongly conflicts with its role of promoting the animal agriculture industry. A fox can’t guard the hen house. MPI has shown repeatedly that they cannot be trusted to uncover animal abuse or even enforce the law.”

For the last five years, Farmwatch and SAFE have been doing the job that MPI hasn’t – investigating conditions on New Zealand farms.

We have directed people to MPI to report cases where farmed animals are in danger. The fact that witnesses are coming back to us, tells a damning story of MPI’s ability to follow up complaints.

We are calling for a fully resourced, stand-alone regulatory and enforcement agency (a Commission), who places CCTV cameras in all dairy sheds and slaughterhouses.


Take Action


Eat with kindness

Try the Plant-Based Challenge

Eating a plant-based diet is the most important thing you can do to help animals. It's a simple switch, but it makes a big difference. You'll feel great knowing that you are putting your values into action. Challenge yourself to give it a try. We bet you’ll find it tastier and easier than you ever imagined!

Donate today

Help us continue helping animals in need.

As a charity, SAFE is reliant on the support of caring people like you to carry out our valuable work. Every dollar goes towards providing education, undertaking research and campaigning for the benefit of all animals.