Today and tomorrow, a hearing is taking place at Waikato District Council to decide if New Zealand’s largest egg producer, Mainland Poultry, can build a controversial mega egg factory farm in Orini, Waikato.
Independent Commissioners will hear the applicant’s case, submitters response and Council recommendation at the two day hearing.
Local residents and animal advocates oppose the application over concerns about animal welfare, odour, increased heavy traffic and degradation of the town’s amenity.
A protest and petition hand-in will happen on Tuesday, the final day of the hearing, with people dressed in chicken suits holding signs saying “Stop Mainland Poultry”.
“As an animal advocacy organisation, Direct Animal Action are concerned that 400,000 hens will be confined in this proposed mega factory farm. We’re also 100% behind the local residents who’re opposing the build,” says Deirdre Sims spokesperson for Direct Animal Action.
“We’ve been running a petition that’s gathered over 30,000 signatures. We’ll hand-in our petition to the Waikato District Council tomorrow during the protest with the help of a giant chicken.”
“The number of petition signatures shows that New Zealanders clearly care about this situation; so we are really disappointed that Waikato District Council only allowed some of the closest neighbours to submit on the application.”
“We thought that was an unfair so we ran a parallel shadow submission process and over 800 people submitted calling for the farm to be stopped.”
“We’ve helped other communities stop mega farms; most recently in the Kaipara where we worked alongside locals to stop Tegel. Next week we’ll stand beside Orini locals and help them stop Mainland Poultry,” said Ms Sims.