Workwear maker Argyle fined $52,500 over jackets which didn't protect from electrical burns as claimed

A protective clothing company has received a weighty fine after it was found to have sold a garment claiming to protect people from electrical arcs when it did not.

The Commerce Commission said today in a statement that Argyle Workwear had been fined $52,500 for selling a jacket that didn't have the claimed protection against electrical burns.

They were sentenced at Auckland District Court on May 10 after being found guilty of one charge under the Fair Trading Act.

Twelve of the jackets were supplied by the company, but the Commission said it considered the misrepresentation to be a serious offence.

Commissioner Anna Rawlings said "customers are entitled to rely upon the accuracy of information provided to them about the products that they buy and this was especially important for a product that may be used for personal protection at work".

Judge Mary-Beth Sharp called the offending "highly careless if not grossly negligent".

A screenshot of the Argyle Workwear website.
A screenshot of the Argyle Workwear website. Source: Screenshot

Anti-Israel protesters and beeping box removed from Wellington movie screening by police

Police were forced to remove anti-Israel protesters from a film screening at the Doc Edge film festival in Wellington last night.

The police also removed a beeping black box that was chained to a seat to disrupt the screening of Ben Guiron, Epilogue, a documentary about former Israeli Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, Newsroom reports.

Peace Action Wellington claimed the documentary, which they described as "Zionist propaganda," breached the cultural boycott of Israel and wanted it removed from the festival.

"This is state-sponsored propaganda the festival are planning to screen at the expense of people living under a brutal and illegal occupation," spokesperson Alex Davies said.

They also claimed that funding from the Israeli embassy for the documentary made the festival complicit with the Israeli government.

The fact that the movie was screened on the eve of the anniversary of Israel declaring its independence in 1948 also aggravated protestors. Palestinians refer to May 15 as the "Nakba" or "catastrophe".

Doc Edge organisers said the demand for the film to be withdrawn were an affront to freedom of speech, adding that the they and the government were not part of a cultural boycott. 

"(The festival) will not bow to pressure groups who seek to censor content on the basis that a film takes a point of view with which that group disagrees," Doc Edge chair, Glenn Johnstone said.

The protest is the latest in an anti-Israel campaign that successfully persuaded Lorde to cancel a concert in Tel Aviv.

The protest comes as Gaza suffered its deadliest day in four years when 52 Palestinians were killed in Gaza during violent protests against the opening of the new US embassy In Jerusalem. 

The Roxy Cinema in Miramar, Wellington.
The Roxy Cinema in Miramar, Wellington. Source: 1 NEWS


Lab animals' deadly fate: 'Labs don't want people to know'

Thousands of laboratory-tested animals have been denied new lives because a government committee has rejected a plea to rehome them instead of euthanise, animal welfare groups say.

Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) figures showed 40 per cent of the 250,000 research animals used in 2015 were euthanised - about 250 animals a day.

Helping You Help Animals (HUHA) founder Carolyn Press-McKenzie said laboratories' resistance to rehoming showed "an antiquated mindset".

"Perhaps laboratories don't want people to know what they are really doing," she said.

HUHA and the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society submitted a petition with more than 16,000 signatures to the government last May, calling upon it to ensure animals used in research, testing and teaching were offered up for rehoming once they were no longer needed. The petition was partly inspired by HUHA rescuing 36 beagles from the Valley Animal Research Centre in 2011.

Ms Press-McKenzie said those dogs had been tested for anti-inflammatory medicine, which required their ligaments to be ripped, were later euthanised and then dissected. Most of the saved beagles were rehabilitated and rehomed after entering, she said.

The Primary Production Select Committee said it would not make rehoming mandatory because there was nothing in the law to prevent research groups from already doing so.

The committee said the MPI had also indicated concerns over how volunteer-run organisations could be "sufficiently resourced to house and care for thousands of research animals".

However, rescue centres were well-equipped for the extra animals and there was a broad network of foster carers in New Zealand ready to help, Ms Press-McKenzie said.

"They can go on to be happy and healthy animals," she said.

It was "a missed opportunity" not to ensure animals got another lease on life as they could "enrich" homes and communities, she said.

"A lot of these animals have just been born in the wrong environment and they are killed there."

The most commonly used species in animal research are cattle, mice, fish and sheep, according to the Ministry for Primary Industries. They were mostly used for veterinary research, animal husbandry, teaching and biological research.

Rodents were predominantly used for medical research and testing animal health products.

Cats and dogs made up around 0.6 per cent of animals used in research.

In a statement the Ministry for Primary Industries said, along with the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee, they "encourage organisations using animals in research, testing and teaching to consider re-homing animals where possible, where it is appropriate to the animal".

- By Eva Corlett

A laboratory test rat.
A laboratory test rat. Source: Janet Stephens/Wikimedia Commons