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Board denies claims of piggery horror

Published: 8:07AM Sunday May 11, 2008 Source: ONE News/Newstalk ZB

The Pork Industry Board is laughing off claims of cannibalism among pigs at a farm in Auckland, despite graphic footage released by an animal welfare group.

Activist group NZ Open Rescue says it has taken two female piglets from the farm to save them from a life of suffering.

Campaigner Deidre Sims says the raid on the farm uncovered cannibalism of dead animals by others in the herd, including a mutilated piglet.

But Pork Industry Board spokesman Chris Trengrove disputes that.

He says pigs have been domesticated for many years, and that you can not farm them without abiding by a strict animal welfare code.

Trengrove believes the activists are hyping up claims of cannibalism to get attention.

But NZ Open Rescue are sticking to their story, and backing it up with a six minute documentary of the investigation and raid. As well as distributing the film on DVD in Central Auckland, they have put the harrowing footage on YouTube (WARNING: Link contains graphic content).

The group also disputes the strictness of that animal welfare code. They say 29% of NZ pig farmers use sow stalls, which place female pigs in a state of extreme confinement where they are unable to turn or move. The stalls have been banned in the UK and Sweden, with other European countries set to follow.