What: Protest & petition hand-in to stop Mainland Poultry egg farm application
When: Tuesday 18 December, 12-1pm
Where: Waikato District Council, 15 Galileo Street, Ngaruawahia 3720
A two day hearing was supposed to conclude today at the 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.
However, commissioners rushed to conclude the hearing yesterday leaving locals and animal advocates angered that the mega farm is being railroaded through by the Council who support the application.
Opponents to the mega farm still plan to gather outside the Waikato District Council today in a show of opposition and will hand-in a 30,000 signature petition to the Council calling on the mega farm to be stopped. A final decision on the mega farm is expected in February 2019. Direct Animal Action spokesperson Deirdre Sims says the Council process has been unfair from the start with only a few of the closest neighbours included in a limited notification submission process. “Several of the closest neighbours to the proposed site were excluded from the notification process, meaning they couldn’t officially submit on something that will have a big impact on their living conditions.” “A huge, stinky, industrial eye-sore could now be in their backyard and they’ve been denied a say in it. Yesterday I spoke with locals involved in the hearing who were angered that the whole thing was rushed through and they were told the hearing would “run into the night” if necessarily just to get it done.” “Mainland Poultry have obviously been exerting their power and pressure over the Waikato District Council to get their way to ensure they can build their horrendous 400,000 chicken mega farm.” “It’s appalling when a Council bows to the pressure of a multi-national to the detriment of local amenity, residents and not to mention animal welfare.”
“We’re incredibly disappointed with the way the Council has handled this application from the start. 30,000 people have signed our petition against the mega farm; we’ll be handing this into the Council today and we expect them to take note of it,” says Ms Sims.
In November 2017, Direct Animal Action filmed horrific conditions at a Mainland Poultry egg farm in Whangarei. MPI investigated but didn’t prosecute.
In March 2018, Direct Animal Action filmed at Mainland Poultry’s trial “cage-free” egg farm site in Otago to expose the new type of system that will be installed at the Orini site on a large scale if the application is successful.