Farrowing crates for pigs give piglets 'best opportunity of survival', says Pork NZ, as petition calling for ban presented to parliament

A petition urging government to ban the use of farrowing crates for pigs is being presented to parliament today, thought to be the biggest petition in about five years. 

The petition, with 112,844 signatures, was set to be delivered by Green MP Gareth Hughes, Kiwi actress Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, as well as Buttercup - a live pig, at midday today. 

SAFE say in some cases mother pigs are put in farrowing crates where they're unable to move around and can struggle to lie down. 

However, NZ Pork chair Ian Carter told 1 NEWS farrowing crates were the "best form of looking after the sow new born piglets". 

"It's proven it reduces mortality and gives new-born piglets opportunity of survival," he said. 

"We spend a lot of time and energy trying to keep pigs alive."

A 2016 National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee review of farrowing pig crates in New Zealand found no formal review was necessary into the pigs code of welfare, and it recommended the existing minimum standards remain. 

It did say the length should be considered "to provide clarity that the sow must not touch both the front and back of the farrowing crate simultaneously and to improve compliance". 

"We are continuously looking for better ways to look after our animals," Mr Carter said. "We do implement them when we find a solution."

He said sows were placed in the farrowing crates a few days before birth and usually kept for about 28 days, which was to keep them from rolling onto their young. 

Mr Cater said after birth sows generally spent at least 80 per cent of the time lying down, even if it was in a free farm situation. 

The petition comes after SAFE released hidden camera footage they say is from a factory pig farm in July, 2017. 

SAFE says Labour and the Green Party said they would end the use of farrowing crates. 

In 2012, Greenpeace brought a petition with about 140,000 signatures to parliament against government plans for coal mining and oil exploration.

Police accept that their euthanasia meeting checkpoint stop was illegal

Police overstepped their authority by setting up a 2016 breath testing checkpoint near a Hutt Valley pro-euthanasia group meeting, an independent investigation has found.

The meeting was being held at the home of Susan Austen, and police set up a checkpoint nearby to gather the names and addresses of many of the attendees.

Susan Austen, pro-euthanasia campaigner and co-ordinator of Exit Wellington, was under investigation for allegedly aiding in the suicide of Annemarie Treadwell who had died in June 2016.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has ruled Police were not justified in establishing the checkpoint to target the Exit International meeting.

Privacy Commissioner John Edwards said police, "unlawfully and unfairly collected personal information, harming some of the people affected".

Operation Painter was established by Police to monitor the pro-euthanasia group.

In the Privacy Commission's own report, they say the way police obtained the information breached principle 4 of the Privacy Act 1993.

"Police used an unlawful checkpoint to take advantage of the public's trust in them and collect information from people who were not legally required to provide it," Mr Edwards said.

Police used the information gathered at the checkpoint to conduct welfare checks on approximately 15 of the attendees and argued they had concerns for their immediate welfare.

Not all attendees believed the visits were just about welfare, telling the IPCA, "...it seems odd and I think they were there for other reasons than just about my state".

While the complaints of attendees were heard, the IPCA ruled Police's subsequent welfare checks were appropriate, but said in future police should consider using another organisation to provide support.

Susan Austen was in February found not guilty of aiding a suicide and guilty of importations of the drug pentobarbitone.

Austin is on bail while awaiting sentencing on May 11.

Police said in a statement that they accepted the findings, but that none of their officers had intentionally breached the law.

That’s the finding of an independent report into the matter. Source: 1 NEWS



Man's conviction overturned because police tricked him into revealing details with pizza competition text

A Timaru man who pranked a woman by having pizzas delivered and a taxi sent to her door has had his conviction overturned because the police "trick" used to track him down was illegal.

Richard Arthur James Crawford on more than one occasion ordered the pizzas and once had a taxi sent to take the woman to hospital.

However, she was able to get the cellphone number from which the order was made and gave it to police.

A police sergeant called the number, with no reply, but sent a text, saying the person was the winner of two movie passes and a name and address was needed to send them out.

Mr Crawford immediately replied and a few days later the sergeant knocked on his door.

He initially denied making the pizza orders, Justice Nick Davidson said in his High Court judgement delivered on Thursday.

"Then the sergeant said he was 'the Movie Max guy', whereupon the appellant slapped his head, said 'I'm so dumb', accompanied the sergeant to the station, and made a full confession."

However, Justice Davidson said while Mr Crawford was charged and convicted in the Timaru District Court - it is not clear what the charge was - the evidence was improperly obtained and the sergeant had committed an offence by "using a telecommunications device knowingly giving a false message".

Although Mr Crawford had slapped his head and said "I'm so dumb", Justice Davidson said "there were other investigatory techniques available, there was no urgency, and the impropriety, 'the trick', was not necessary to avoid any loss of evidence".

Although there was a "sinister element" to Mr Crawford's actions, the judge decided the police officer's conduct was well intentioned but he needed to reflect on whether the line which marks impropriety would be crossed.

Pineapple on pizza
Pineapple on pizza Source: Flickr: Big Yay