Most New Zealanders never get to see how pigs and hens suffer in intensive farms in New Zealand, because industrial farms are hidden away, in corrugated iron sheds down back roads in rural areas, and farmers wont let us visit their farms to see for ourselves the conditions that animals are forced to endure in these ‘farms’.
The Pork Industry Board is a statutory agency. Yet it seems to assume it is a law unto itself, with powers even greater than the Police or the SIS. Agriculture Minister David Carter is either unable or unwilling to make it accountable. Surely it is time for an inquiry into the Board’s attempts on behalf of rogue farmers to subvert the requirement for piggery owners to maintain humane conditions for their animals.
Yesterday Sue Kedgley asked Agriculture Minister David Carter some questions in Parliament about allegations that the Pork Industry Board was deliberately attempting to evade the Official Information Act with respect to information about animal welfare in piggeries. Sue’s question followed a leaked email from the Pork Industry Board: