So, Agriculture Minister David Carter finally creaks into action on the brutal and inhumane treatment of factory farmed pigs, then spends most of the press release attacking the animal rights group that brought the issue into the public light.
He’s obviously covering for his abysmal performance on Sunday, where he had to admit he didn’t know his own portfolio and then proceeded to defend factory farmers as ‘probably having a good reason’ for abusing and torturing their pigs.
The fact is SAFE had perfectly good reasons not to immediately disclose where the farm featured on Sunday was based.
For one, their actions in breaking into the farm were illegal. Justified, but illegal all the same.
But more importantly, SAFE wanted the story to highlight the fact this is an industry-wide problem, not an isolated incident. As SAFE’s Hans Kriek said in the Herald, “I’ve seen them slightly dirtier, I’ve seen them slightly cleaner. I’ve seen them slightly better, I’ve seen them slightly worse.”
It’s not very often that organisations like SAFE have an opportunity to highlight these conditions, and when they do they’re up against the farming lobby’s millions of dollars and hordes of lobbyists. Nothing would have been gained from letting the farming lobby divert this into a story about how one ‘bad apple’ pig farm in Levin is mistreating its livestock.
The good news is SAFE’s strategy appears to have worked. This is now a political issue and David Carter is under pressure to show he’s not in the pocket of the factory farming lobby. No wonder he and his allies are trying to divert attention from the real issues.