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Reward offered in factory farming fight

Published: 7:28PM Sunday November 07, 2010 Source: ONE News

One of New Zealand's richest women is offering farm workers a reward of up to $30,000 to dob in their bosses for cruelty to animals.

In a rare interview, Kathmandu founder Jan Cameron told TV ONE's Sunday she wants an end to sow stalls and caged chicken farming.

As part of her campaign, she is donating $2 million to animal rights group SAFE.

SAFE's Hans Kriek said his organisation has not previously had the resources to make a difference in their campaign against caged animals.

"[But] Jan is a very rich lady and she is determined to see this campaign win - and she's basically not going to stop funding us until we see that result," he said.

Cameron has an empire employing 10,000 people across Australia in retail. The profits are being used to fund Cameron's causes, including the money earmarked to fight factory farming in New Zealand.

Cameron said rewards of up to $30,000 will be available to farming whistleblowers. The amount will depend on the legal or animal welfare outcome achieved by the information brought forward.

However, Cameron believes the money will not be what influences employees to "dob in" their boss.

"I think fundamentally the whistleblowers aren't going to be hugely influenced by a reward. I think it's going to be their conscience, their feeling. I think that's their prime motivation."

She said the reward is to help out those who lose their jobs as a result of their actions.

Pork Board CEO Sam McIvor rejects accusations of cruelty in the industry.

"We don't think [the bounty] is required," he said.

"At the end of the day, farmers have openly offered to be audited, and that's independently, and that's because they want to prove to consumers that they're looking after their pigs."

McIvor said the New Zealand industry's independent welfare audit is supported by a label "which gives consumers the assurance that if they're buying New Zealand pork, then the pigs will have passed the audit".

But Cameron does not accept that. She said her $2 million donation is "just the beginning" of her crusade.

"We're prepared to do what it takes to bring about the change," she said.

"This isn't a power trip. It's about positive change for the animals."

What do you think of Jan Cameron's reward? Share your thoughts on the messageboard below.

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  • Alissa said on 2010-11-08 @ 07:12 NZDT: Report abusive post

    Good on this woman for putting her personal fortune into positive action. It's more than most of us are doing. Unfortunately though, I don't think it will yield the results they desire. That is because farming is largely a family business in NZ and family members won't be dobbing in their own family. Where large scale enterprise does employ staff, I doubt those staff will risk their jobs for $30,000 or indeed only a portion of that. That won't last them long when rural jobs are so scarce.

  • IrishFellaInNZ said on 2010-11-08 @ 00:54 NZDT: Report abusive post

    100% of my support goes towards this. It's about time something actually gets done about animal abuse in our industry. Too long have we had laws that are not being enforced; perhaps we need more personell to deal with it, I dont know. Either way, the fact that someone is out to make a difference because they have the capacity to do so is amazingly generous and they deserve our support, not our cynicism!

  • kate501 said on 2010-11-07 @ 22:52 NZDT: Report abusive post

    Good on her. I applaud her for using profits to help factory-farmed animals in NZ. Too many people do not understand where their ham and eggs come from. It's time to wake up, NZ. It is not okay to put animals through agony just to supply us with cheap meat. Buy Freedom Farm ham and SPCA-approved free-range eggs. They aren't cruel to animals.

  • FRIENDS FOR THE LOVE OF ANIMALS said on 2010-11-07 @ 22:13 NZDT: Report abusive post

    There are plenty of people who help the humans-who cares about the poor animals?? You Jan Cameron's obviously do, it.I wish more people cared about animals. The worst thing about Kiwis is their total denial about the level of their Animal Cruelty problems N.Z. Sometimes all it takes to make things better is for one person to decide to do something. It sounds as Jan is one of those persons who wont just look away when she see animals suffering but will look for a way to help reduce their pain.