The worst excesses of cruelty in New Zealand factory farming must be the confinement of sows in crates and farrowing pens, and the confinement of hens in battery cages. In both these cases, the animals live their whole life in pain and boredom. The RNZSPCA has led a high profile campaign against sow crates and battery hens, and has been lobbying to government for a ban of the sow crate and battery by 2012.
Unfortunately, there has been a powerful counter-lobbying effort by groups who profit from the status quo, and as a result, there has been no restrictions on sow stalls and farrowing crates so far.
While most campaigning against factory farming has concentrated on the
intensive management of sows and battery hens, there are cruel practices
associated with other farming systems too. For example, cows and
sheep can be legally dehorned, detailed and castrated without anaesthetic,
in spite of growing evidence that such practices can produce not only pain
during an immediately after the operation, but intermittently for the entire
lifetime of the animal.
RNZSPCA home page for the sow crate campaign.
Code of Recommendations and Minimum Standards for the Welfare of Pigs
This is a legal document drawn up by the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, which provides both guidelines and legal requirements that pig farmers must adhere to. As you can read, the government ignored the scientific evidence that pigs suffer in sow crates, and also breached its own Act in allowing pigs to be confined in such a way that they are unable to display normal patterns of behaviour.
pigs and politics.
An academic publication on the current state of animal welfare legislation regarding pigs, and scientific, ethical and economic arguments for banning sow stalls.
stalls and farrowing crates, ethically, scientifically and economically
indefensible. A less academic treatment of the sow stall
and farrowing crate issue.
The RNZSPCA home page for the battery hen campaign
Life in a cage – Science says chooks
should run free (word document)
An article on battery hens, published in Organic New Zealand (Jan-Feb 2005, 26-27).
Photographs from the Wellington Egg Company,
Judgeford (word document)
welfare and the beef and dairy industry.
An article from Organic New Zealand.
4. Other factory farming
Animals From Exploitation (SAFE): homepage for factory farming campaign
This website contains the submissions made on the codes of welfare for pigs, layer hens, broiler chickens and slaughter, as well as submissions on a number of other animal welfare issues. The submissions generally describe the situation in New Zealand, and present scientific evidence for the presence of unnecessary and excessive suffering.
5. REPORT ON GOVERNMENT MISMANAGEMENT AND INDUSTRY BULLYING OVER THE CODES OF WELFARE FOR LAYER HENS AND PIGS
We report evidence that the Minister
of Agriculture Jim Sutton ignored scientific evidence, selectively searched
for shonky research that would tell him what he wanted to hear, placed
inordinate emphasis on hearsay from industrial veterinarians with questionable
scientific integrity, and caved in to industry pressure. Read