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Pig Code Delayed, Ag Minister Disappointed

by 5m Editor
16 December 2009, at 8:22am

NEW ZEALAND - The pig-headed Pork Industry Board is holding a gun to the Minister of Agriculture, David Carter, and delaying the release of a new pig code, Green Animal Welfare spokesperson Sue Kedgley said today.

The National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) announced today that the review of the Pig Code would be delayed due to threats of legal action from the Pork Industry Board regarding NAWAC releasing the draft code for public consultation.

“The Minister promised that the code would be out for the public to have their say before the year’s end. The Minister has not kept his promise,” said Ms Kedgley

Ms Kedgley said the Pork Industry Board should not have been shown the code before it was released, ahead of anyone else.

“Having done so, the Pork Industry is now using unprecedented stand-over tactics and the threat of legal action to delay the reform of inhumane pig-farming practices.

“This is pork barrel politics at its worst and the Minister should not capitulate to the industry’s tactics,” Ms Kedgley said.

“There is no timetable for releasing even the draft code, and it is clear the Pork Industry Board could continue to use endless delaying tactics and legal action well into next year.

“This nonsense has to stop and I call on the Minister not to cave into the Pork Industry Board and to release the draft code for consultation immediately.”

Ag Minister Voices Disappointment

Mr Carter is disappointed that the threat of legal action has delayed the release of a new code of welfare for pigs.

“It is frustrating that this has happened just days before the draft code was to be released for public consultation.

“Earlier this year I asked the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee to review the code urgently so it could release a draft for consultation by the end of the year.

“NAWAC has advised me that it was on track to do this, but an unprecedented threat of legal action over the release of the draft code for public consultation has derailed the process.

“This is disappointing as I realise there is a high level of public concern over the issue of pig welfare.”

Mr Carter says he agrees NAWAC should protect itself from threatened litigation and he accepts that the best course of action is for the Committee to consult further with the Pork Industry Board before releasing the draft for public consultation.

“This draft code needs to be out urgently. The industry and NAWAC need to work together to make it happen,” says Mr Carter.