Monday, November 07, 2016

We need an independent animal welfare regulator

Another day, more tales of gratuitious animal abuse by farmers:

Animal rights supporters are calling for an independent watchdog to take over animal welfare responsibilities from the Ministry for Primary Industries following more allegations of farm animal abuse.

Comments made by members of a dairy farming Facebook group about how to stop a cow from kicking and to get it to let down milk have been called "sickening".

Complaints based on the Facebook comments have been made to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), which has started "several investigations" as a result, with some already completed.

Some of the suggestions included inserting a hose into the cow's "fanny" and blowing into it (called "tubing" in the industry), which is a breach of the Dairy Cattle Code of Welfare.

Unfortunately, MPI is utterly captured by the industry it is supposed to be regulating, and the police just aren't interested. These farmers won't be punished for their cruelty. Which is why we need an independent body to investigate and prosecute these sorts of offences. Sadly, we won't get it from National - the farmer's party has no interest in holding farmers accountable for their crimes.