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MAF failed to act on NZ Battery Hen Farm

by 5m Editor
17 January 2007, at 10:23am

NEW ZEALAND - The Egg Producers Federation (EPF) today said that they knew the Somerdale Poultry Lodge that activists raided on the weekend was operating illegally. Michael Brooks from the EPF said they had laid complaints with MAF Animal Welfare and the New Zealand Food Safety Authority.

Auckland Animal Action (AAA) wants to know why MAF did not do their job and investigate the complaint and shut the farm down. Spokesperson for AAA Rochelle Rees says, "MAF have demonstrated repeatedly that they don't care about the welfare of animals. In a recent case in Wellington, animal rights activists investigated a pig farm, and found that the pens were smaller than the minimum required in the codes of welfare. The activists laid a complaint with MAF who as per usual failed to take any action."

Because MAF won't act, the only people left with the authority to prosecute breaches of the Animal Welfare Act are the SPCA, a non-profit organization who receives no government funding. The SPCA only tends to prosecute in the most extreme cases of animal abuse, as they lack the resources to do more. They also lack the resources to investigate every farm, and as a result rely on complaints to draw their attention to serious breaches of the Animal Welfare Act.

Ms Rees says, "We see time and time again cases of severe animal cruelty and no consequences for the people responsible. The only reason the SPCA know about the conditions at the Somerdale Poultry Lodge, is because animal rights activists illegally broke into the farm and extensively documented the cruelty."

"It is ridiculous that MAF, the government funded ministry responsible for animal welfare fail to investigate complaints and prosecute for cruelty. Meanwhile it takes individuals such as animal rights activists to risk their own freedom enforcing the law."

ThePoultrySite News Desk

5m Editor