Pork Board desperation and farm tour success

Written By: - Date published: 7:06 am, June 5th, 2009 - 14 comments
Categories: animal welfare - Tags: , ,

Animal Liberation Aotearoa (ALA) have for the past year or so been running a series of farm tours, taking members of the public onto factory farms to see for themselves how they work. They do these openly and in broad daylight, accepting the possible risk of minor criminal charges that may result (though thus far none have).

Last weekend ALA organised a farm tour to a pig factory farm in Palmerston North. Their report tells a fascinating story of their weekend being followed around by whom we can only assume to be corporate spies from Thompson & Clark (we do know that the pork board has previously employed their services). It doesn’t seem to matter how much I personally experience and hear about surveillance from both corporate and state spies, it all still seems so surreal and far more suited to a movie or novel than real life.

Despite being prevented from entering their first choice of intensive pig farms, which was that owned by current pork board director Steve Kidby, ALA did have a plan B. Click through to the full post to see a selection of photographs taken which further put paid to the spin out there from the pork board and the government, that somehow the recent farm exposed was not representative of standard factory farming conditions.

Lastly, protests are planned against Massey University’s ‘Advancing Pork Production’ seminar in Palmerston North. Meet outside the Kingsgate Hotel on Fitzherbert Ave at 9am, Monday the 8th of June.

– Rocky
It seems my reward for borrowing lprent’s login was that I get my own 👿


“Fattening pens are used to hold piglets until they are five months old, at this time they are sent to slaughter.”


“Sows that are ready to give birth are moved into farrowing crates to give birth and attempt to care for their young. The area that the sow is confined to measures two metres in length and is 80 centimetres in width. These crates completely restrict the sows movement so they can only sit and lie down. They cannot turn around, build a nest for their young or nurture their new babies. To the side of farrowing crates is a small area with a heat source known as a ‘creep area’. This is where the piglets live when they are not feeding from their mum. Over 70 percent of all sows are confined to these crates for birth of their young and will stay there for up to 6 weeks before being impregnated again and returned to a sow stall.”


“Sow stalls measure two metres by 60 centimetres and they completely restrict a sows movement. As with the sows in the farrowing crates these sows can only stand, sit or lie down; they could not turn around or move about.”


“While we were at the farm everyone had loads of questions and seeing the farms for themselves gave everyone a much better understanding of ‘Pork Production’ and what the pigs go through.”

The full selection of photographs from the farm tour can be found here.

14 comments on “Pork Board desperation and farm tour success”

  1. felix 1

    Hi rocky, good to see you on board. Your particular perspective should add another dimension to the site, and a valuable one.

    • Maynard J 1.1

      I believe Rocky is one ‘Rochelle Rees’ – look at the last small line before the pictures.

    • felix 1.2

      Yes I picked that up, but it’s generally considered polite to address posters by their chosen handle, regardless of whether you know their irl name.

      • Maynard J 1.2.1

        I suppose, but did not think that was relevant in this case, the handle seemed more inflicted than chosen 🙂

  2. George D 2

    Thanks for keeping this issue at the forefront. The awful reality needs to be in public view, and given the failure of the MSM direct media such as this is an important adjunct to maintain that publicity.

    I hope that one day Labour will pick up the courage to do what is right.

    Does anybody have a good idea about who is likely to replace Jim “Factory Farming” Anderton as Labour’s agriculture spokesperson?

  3. toad 3

    George D said: Does anybody have a good idea about who is likely to replace Jim “Factory Farming’ Anderton as Labour’s agriculture spokesperson?

    Dunno, but suspect ACT’s pig farmer MP would be theirs.

  4. ieuan 4

    When did ‘The Standard’ start supporting the illegal entering of someone’s premises?

    The owner of the pig farm shown here should prosecute these people, its not like there is a lack of evidence.

    • Kaplan 4.1

      I think you will find the owner would rather NOT draw that kind of attention to himself.

  5. Rex Widerstrom 5

    Excellent idea by ALA. Avoids the backlash that comes from their more radical acts that involve property damage but I suspect will be far more effective. And still retains that air of “up yours” to the people responsible for this practice. My hat’s off to their PR advisor.

    I’m surprised more pig farmers aren’t moving to end this practice and advertise the fact. Whenever I go to the supermarket – which is inevitably late in the day – I’m lucky to find a carton of free range eggs left, while stacks of “cage eggs” remain untouched. People seem happy to pay a bit extra. Personally, if I can’t afford free range I’ll go without.

    Strangely, when it comes to meat (even chicken) the choices aren’t as readily available, especially in supermarkets. Is it perhaps (and I’m entirely speculating here) because the animal liberationists want to see a complete end to the commercial slaughter of animals and are thus less enthusiastic about promoting humane rearing practices than they are about shutting it down altogether?

    As for Thompson and Clark… do they have any idea how ridiculous they sound to Tintin fans, given they’re in the same line of work?

    • rocky 5.1

      Avoids the backlash that comes from their more radical acts that involve property damage but I suspect will be far more effective.

      I think you are mistaking ALA for the ALF. ALA have never been involved in property damage.

  6. Ari 6

    What the hell, animals rights on the Standard? Woot!

    Glad to see you might be posting more often, Rochelle. 🙂

  7. r0b 7

    It seems my reward for borrowing lprent’s login was that I get my own

    Touche lprent!

    Rocky, welcome, use it well….

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