New Zealand’s dirty little secret

Pigs in cages so small they can’t even turn around? Chickens selectively bred for meat to put on weight so quickly they’ve become genetic monstrosities who wouldn’t survive even if rescued? Hens imprisoned for life unable to display their most basic natural behaviours? Modern day turkeys so heavy they can’t even breed naturally? This is factory farming – New Zealand’s dirty little secret.

Our clean, green image belies the fact that each year we abuse 100 million animals bred for food in factory farms. Animals are confined in windowless, overcrowded sheds, all in the pursuit of profit. Industries want us to buy more, eat more, consume more – and make them a bigger buck – with the true cost being to the animals.

                                                                                                                                                “Whenever people say, “We mustn’t be sentimental,” you can take it they are about to do
something cruel. And if they add, “We must be realistic,” they mean
they are going to make money out of it.”

– Brigid Brophy (1929-1995)

It’s not good for the animals, the environment, our health, New Zealand’s 100% pure reputation – or even farmers themselves. link?

Intensive farming has become such big business it has affected small scale farming too ­ in the 1980s there were over 450 egg producers in New Zealand. By 2000 only 130 were left, with the largest 20 producers accounting for over 50% of total production.

Factory farming simply does not fit in with the kiwi ideal of ‘fairness’.

It has to stop.

Let down by the Law

SAFE has been working hard on the Animal Welfare Act review, underway until the end of September. There is an opportunity for real change, for us to truly become leaders in animal welfare. You can make a submission on this now!

However, even the current inadequate Act states that animals must have the ability to display normal behaviours, but still allows the worst factory farming practices such as battery hen farming and farrowing crates by which animals are clearly deprived. Even worse, proposed changes, if accepted, will mean a huge step backwards – allowing cruel practices to be exempt from animal welfare obligations indefinitely.

It’s clear we can’t sit by idly waiting for politicians to do the right thing.

We need to take action now; real action that will stop the horrors of factory farming. This starts with YOU.

A new campaign

SAFE has long campaigned against our abusive farming practices, achieving a ban on cruel sow stalls (which begins 2016). Now we’re launching a new Stop Factory Farming campaign which aims to turn the spotlight on other cruel practices in intensive farming in New Zealand!

Urging consumers to think before they buy, we want you to participate in bringing factory farming to an end. We’ll be bringing this message to New Zealanders through a major national drive involving television advertisements, billboards, posters and bus adverts. SAFE will be showing that YOUR consumer purchasing power can stop factory farming.

Think before you Buy!

Together, the individual actions of ordinary New Zealanders can stop factory farm cruelty.

By simply taking the following steps we can make a difference:

Take a stand when you shop! Don’t buy eggs from caged hens or factory-farmed pork and chicken. Imagine what would happen if each of us stopped buying these products – factory farming would stop overnight.

Spread the message: talk to family and friends about cruel factory farming. Encourage your workplace or school to stop using factory-farmed products.

There is loads more you can do; this is only the beginning.

Say NO to factory farming, find out more and get involved at

Mandy Carter, Campaign manager


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