web analytics

Pre-election Factory Farming Debate

Written By: - Date published: 6:21 am, September 2nd, 2014 - 4 comments
Categories: animal welfare - Tags:

FactoryFarmingDebatePromoImage

Tomorrow evening SAFE is holding a pre-election debate on Factory Farming in Wellington. The participants are Shane Ardern (National), Trevor Mallard (Labour), Mojo Mathers (Greens), Richard Prosser (NZ First) and Miriam Pierard (Internet).

Factory farming has featured prominently in the news this year after repeated exposes by Farmwatch on New Zealand pig farms. SAFE has taken to social media to get input from the public on the questions to be asked. You can suggest your question on the Facebook event page and SAFE will compile the best ones

It is my view that all of our political parties have questions to answer on the issues. Here is the key question I would ask each candidate:

Last week Labour announced their “Protecting Animals’ Rights” policy. For the first time Labour have signaled that they are taking animal welfare issues seriously. They still have a lot of questions to answer however about exactly what their policy means. Does their definition of “intensive farming” include pig fattening pens, broiler chicken farming, enriched colony cages for layer-chickens and the smaller scale factory farming of dairy cows and ducks and turkeys? Or is it narrowly defined only as including sow crates, farrowing crates and battery hen farming? The big thing I want to see come out of this debate is a clear picture of where Labour stands on animal welfare issues and their policy to be articulated clearly, without ambiguity, so we can hold them to account for it post-election should there be a change of government.

Labour’s “Protecting Animals’ Rights” policy is available here and includes the following statement on intensive farming:

Labour will work to abolish inhumane intensive farming practices. We will aim to have legislation passed by the end of 2016, which phases out intensive farming.
The worst practices including sow and farrowing crates will end immediately but others such as chicken farming will take longer.

The Green Party has always been strong in their support for positive animal welfare policies. So much so that SAFE invited former Green Party spokesperson on animal welfare, Sue Kedgley, to MC the debate. As the current Green Party spokesperson on animal welfare Mojo Mathers has continued to strongly advocate on animal welfare issues in Parliament. The question I would like to see put to the Greens is how high up the priority list animal welfare policy will feature in any post-election coalition negotiations.

The current National government reluctantly agreed to phase out sow stalls after the issue gained traction in 2009 following Mike King’s appearance on the Sunday Program. 5 years on pigs are still suffering and groups like Farmwatch continue to expose the atrocities on factory farms. The Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, is still running the “rogue farm” line and refusing to acknowledge that there are any industry wide issues on pig farms. Nathan Guy is unavailable to attend the debate so the chair of the Primary Production Committee, Shane Ardern, is attending in his place. As chair of the Primary Production Committee Shane Ardern is well-versed on animal welfare and agricultural issues and therefore is well placed to speak for the National Party on these issues. The question for the National Party should be why they have introduced a new form of factory farming – Colony Cages for layer hens – at a time when an overwhelming majority of New Zealander’s want to see factory farming end.

New Zealand First has no specific policy on factory farming but suggested, in their response to the Animal’s Agenda campaign, that they have faith in NAWAC – The National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee that continues to put forward Codes of Welfare that do not comply with the Animal Welfare Act. The Animal Welfare Act includes a requirement (as one of the five freedoms) for animals to have the opportunity to “display natural patterns of behaviour”. Battery hen cages were determined (by the Regulations Review Committee in 2005) to be in breach of the Animal Welfare Act. Other factory farming practices have the same issue – the basic inability for animals to display natural patterns of behaviour. The big question for NZ First is whether they would endorse a ban on practices that do not meet the minimum standards laid out in the Animal Welfare Act.

As the new player in New Zealand’s political scene the Internet Party has started strong on animal welfare, endorsing all ten of the policies advocated by the Animal Agenda campaign. My perception of Internet/Mana’s endorsement of key animal welfare policies will rest on how much their candidate, Miriam Pierard appears to have engaged with and come to understand the issues. Is their stance a convenient way to gain the support of issues groups or is there some real substance to their stance?

I hope to see many of you at the debate tomorrow night.

WHERE: St Andrew’s on The Terrace
WHEN: Wednesday 3rd September 6.30pm

Declaration: I have been helping SAFE to organise this debate however I do not speak for SAFE. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and SAFE should not be held responsible for them.

4 comments on “Pre-election Factory Farming Debate ”

  1. Ian Duffield 1

    I hope you are able to report back on this meeting as many of us ( unable to attend) are keenly following the parties’ response to this issue.

  2. philj 2

    xox
    Good luck.
    Oxfam had a public meeting on Global Climate change in Wellington and National couldn’t / wouldn’t provide a spokesperson! Clearly not important to them.

  3. jps 3

    good luck with this. i note that mr adern is not seeking re-election in 2014, which might tell you something about the motivation for sending him along.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Twenty highlights of 2020
    As we welcome in the new year, our focus is on continuing to keep New Zealanders safe and moving forward with our economic recovery. There’s a lot to get on with, but before we say a final goodbye to 2020, here’s a quick look back at some of the milestones ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better care for babies with tongue-tie
    Babies born with tongue-tie will be assessed and treated consistently under new guidelines released by the Ministry of Health, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Around 5% to 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, in New Zealand each year. At least half can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison over
    The prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison is over, with all remaining prisoners now safely and securely detained, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. The majority of those involved in the event are members of the Mongols and Comancheros. Five of the men are deportees from Australia, with three subject to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from the UK and the US from 15 January
    Travellers from the United Kingdom or the United States bound for New Zealand will be required to get a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing, and work is underway to extend the requirement to other long haul flights to New Zealand, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “The new PCR test requirement, foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PM congratulates New Year Honour recipients
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has added her warm congratulations to the New Zealanders recognised for their contributions to their communities and the country in the New Year 2021 Honours List. “The past year has been one that few of us could have imagined. In spite of all the things that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • David Parker congratulates New Year 2021 Honours recipients
    Attorney-General and Minister for the Environment David Parker has congratulated two retired judges who have had their contributions to the country and their communities recognised in the New Year 2021 Honours list. The Hon Tony Randerson QC has been appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Year’s Honours highlights outstanding Pacific leadership through challenging year
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the New Year’s Honours List 2021 highlights again the outstanding contribution made by Pacific people across Aotearoa. “We are acknowledging the work of 13 Pacific leaders in the New Year’s Honours, representing a number of sectors including health, education, community, sports, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Supporting seniors to embrace technology
    The Government’s investment in digital literacy training for seniors has led to more than 250 people participating so far, helping them stay connected. “COVID-19 has meant older New Zealanders are showing more interest in learning how to use technology like Zoom and Skype so they can to keep in touch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago