Free-range Scam; Factory Farming Has To Go

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Members of the public have been rising up in outrage to see an end to the industrialised cruelty of intensive factory farms. We have seen over and over in the last few weeks that the public are being heavily mislead in multiple ways in regards to how farm animals are being treated, and there are massive issues with untruthfulness by producers. 

Of major concern was the pigcare accreditation scheme that was backed by the Ministry of Primary Industries and shown to be meaningless in providing any assurance of animal wellbeing.

But even we were gobsmacked to hear this egg producer openly admit that putting fake free-range labels on caged-eggs is normal and widespread in the egg industry. I repeat, this is common; they put fake free-range labels on eggs.

This is what activists have been recording and delivering to the public; multiple instances of animals raised in shocking conditions that have not been cared for according to the claims of the packaging. These accreditation schemes, logos, packaging and advertising claims are 100% unreliable, and this is because of feeble monitoring and the fact minimum standards to gain those logos are so incredibly weak. Farmers can do almost anything and still get a pig care logo stamped on their pack. You witnessed it the farms in Dunedin, those were deemed to be acceptable to gain the logo. And the Ministry continued to back and support that program.

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This behaviour is illegal by the fair trading act because no reasonable person would believe that when they buy such products with a pig care or free-range logo on them, that they are paying for farmers to keep animals confined and in conditions like that, yet prosecutions are rare, even when there is footage.

It’s a national shame and these things feel third-worldy and scary. It harms our international reputation when other first-world countries have outright banned this stuff. People are angry, and rightfully so, the truth is, we care about animals! We genuinely hate cruelty and we feel farmers have an obligation not to confine them, hurt them or raise them filth. We think they have a right to run about in the sun and relax in the grass. In this country we are all about the outdoors and living the good life, with kindness toward others! Well, animals too have the right to a good life. It is terrifying to think about what these animals endure for years at a time even in the sterile colony systems.

Factory farming and everything that is involved with intensive farming needs to become illegal, this has happened overseas with intensive practices being banned (INCLUDING all colony cages). Accreditation schemes need to have minimum standards that are high and that are in good faith according to what a fair and reasonably minded person would expect when they buy something with any kind of free range or care logo on the pack. Person-to-person, even the NEW confinement systems proposed are virtually indistinguishable from the former. It’s a joke. This footage was offered up by New Zealand’s biggest egg producers, without any sense of shame. It is shocking to look at. They are so involved in what they do, they cannot see, how bad it actually looks. 75% of the country’s eggs come from this company. It may be slightly more sterile and spacious but that is still horribly cruel confinement in those new cages. 47,500, I’ll say that again forty-seven thousand, five hundred hens in a shed. Let’s be honest. New colony cages are heralded by National as “the future”. At what point do we say no and that we expect the same as other developed countries? These animals need to have access to the outside, and to run around and to be happy; they are not egg-machines.

The entire situation is a damn mess, our animal welfare act is totally inept, the industries are corrupt, confinement is unethical and it’s the animals that suffer.

After the massive rallies across the country to bring an end to this dire situation, a few key things happened.

Labour agreed, along with all of the parties on the left to bring an end to factory farming. It’s time National stood up and honoured the will of the people. Confinement industries have to end, and NOW, and we do not want to see the introduction of colony cages. Industrial cruelty MUST end. Right now farmers are free to do anything they please and that is proven with what we have seen. It’s simply not good enough. We all want better for these very vulnerable beings, who are not able to fight for themselves.

After the rallies there was a Facebook page made for people who want stay up to date on this issue: https://www.facebook.com/ItsaNationalDisgrace

For Aucklanders who are sick of this situation there is an action TONIGHT to directly let John Key know how we feel. If you are in Auckland and you’ll be in good company! Dress up, make some noise! Let’s stand up on behalf of the voiceless. I’ll be there: https://www.facebook.com/events/1489414394636612/

Feel free to boycott animal products entirely because of issues inherent to these industries.

6 COMMENTS

  1. thanks so much Jessie, …yes it is a National shame and a subject dear to my heart… if labour are serious about banning factory farming (and not just wanting to look gd with election looming)..they need to show they are deadly serious by stopping the gross amount of cheap and cruelly farmed imported pork for example they will need to give serious incentives for our farmers to make the necessary changes! As for the gross battery hen industry … no excuses what’s so ever …

  2. Ever wondered why the National Party and farming industry groups get on so well together? Because they speak the same language – lies.

  3. When a government cares so little for people then it is not difficult to see why they dont care for animals. Good post Jessie, good that you point out the obvious to those who are immune to animal suffering.
    Just keep chipping away at consciences is probably the only way to make a difference to the hell that these poor animals have to endure.

  4. John Campbell had a piece yesterday on Cage v’s Colony v’s Range. Much was made of how the free chooks follow the humans around, they love them sooo much. Yeah, right! All chickens ‘imprint’ on the first thing they see when they hatch. Normally it would be their mother hen but in the modern hatchery the first thing they see that isn’t another chick or their light bulb heater is a human. QED.
    The free range setup near Palmerston (Otago) is waaay better than the cages and colonies but I still have misgivings. I guess there’s no easy way to produce a billion eggs a year.

  5. I was not at all surprised. For many years now, I have boycotted all supermarket eggs. I only buy my eggs from small-scale, genuinely free-range, producers, and not through any middlemen, and the going rate is $6 per dozen, which is an ok price.

    However, it is not just the animal cruelty, there is also the issue of the long term unsustainability of industrial farming, eg. the way that most of Fonterra’s milk suppliers are strip-mining the earth’s natural fertility, and pumping in ridiculous quantities of chemicals for short-term gain.

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