Pigs in Muckraking – Updated & Updated again

When a television show gives only one side of a story, I wonder what the other side would say.

I don’t know enough to comment on the issues of pig farming which were raised in last night’s Sunday programme but Farmgirl is better informed and brings some balance to the story.

Good journalism requires balance. Sunday should have given the farmers an opportunity to give their side of the story and it would have helped to have a vet’s point of view too.

There are no excuses for mistreating animals and saying it happens elsewhere is no excuse for cruelty. But nothing is gained for animal welfare if the pork industry here is killed and replaced by meat from overseas where pig farming practices are no better and possibly even worse.


Minister of Agriculture David Carter has asked animal campaigners to reveal the location of the pig farm shown on Sunday.

“If SAFE has the welfare of these animals at heart, it needs to provide details of the property today so the authorities can the take appropriate action.  I have asked MAF to undertake an inspection as soon as we know the farm’s location,” Mr Carter said.

That is a very sensible response because MAF can’t do anything until they know where the property is.

It raises the question of why SAFE hasn’t already gone to the authorities and any further delay in doing so would suggest they care more about publicity for their campaign than the welfare of the pigs.

UPDATE 2: The Bull Pen has more with King hit on pig farming.

UPDATE 2: Keeping Stock posts on SAFE pork , highlighting a story from the NZ Herald which says SAFE is refusing to identify the farm.

When asked by nzherald.co.nz if that was due to publicity, Mr Kriek said yes.

I’m not going to give you all the details of our strategy, which is a very sound one,” Mr Kriek said.

The organisation which is supposed to save animals from exploitation is exploiting animals by putting publicity before the pigs.

11 Responses to Pigs in Muckraking – Updated & Updated again

  1. Adolf Fiinkensein says:

    I have inside knowledge of the recent Sunday programme on the alleged sacking of a Presbyterian minister. It was equally unbalanced, full of half truths and innuendo.

    The PIC should lodge a complaint with the BSA and you should support it.

    The Sunday programme is a classic example of the manner in which charter funding has been misused by TVNZ. Journalists are the lowest form of scum. I’d trust a prostitute before I’d trust a journalist.

    Further I suggest you lobby yoour local National MPs for a law which both bans the use of sow crates and the import of pig meat produced using said crates.


  2. I don’t watch Sunday. Too tabloid and usually about stories that are – in the big picture – more trivial than important. I’m done with infotainment freak shows, tear-jerkers and shock / horror.

    But I have seen sows in sow crates. It’s not pretty. NZ would do well to ban them here and not import products from anywhere else where the pigs used in the product were raised / kept in sow crates.


  3. Pique Oil says:

    We stopped watching sunday after we conned ourselves into watching the show about Gareth Morgan and global warming. Failing to mention that the islands, which were the centre piece of that article, sit on the losing side of a subduction zone was dishonest at best.
    Pigs are kept in crates all over the world and a knee jerk against the Kiwi Pork industry will only mean exporting the guilt out of the NIMBY zone. That will suit those who are so certain of their own divine right to tell us lesser beings how to live.


  4. Apparently Pique Oil doesn’t understand the concept of gratuitous cruelty.


  5. Farmer Baby Boomer says:

    I don’t like sow crates either but the Sunday program was disgraceful journalism. Thanks for the link to Farmgirl,HP, as you said it brings some balance. I thought her idea that Mike King should have done a “Jamie Oliver” was a good one. An idea worth pursueing by the Pork Industry?
    Farmgirl’s post deserves wide circulation. Adolf has commented here so maybe if blogs like of No Minister and Kiwiblog linked to it that would be a start.


  6. Inventory2 says:

    I see that David Carter has called on SAFE to identify the farm concerned, so that MAF animal welfare inspectors can investigate. That strikes me as a totally appropriate course of action for the Minister to take – identify whether in fact there IS a problem before taking the matter any further.



  7. homepaddock says:

    I2 – thanks, I’d seen the media release before I noticed your comment.


  8. swinestein says:

    The Sunday progamme was a load of emotional bullshit, full of uninformed comment. Banning the use of sow stalls and imports of pork would remove over a million kg a week of pork from supermarket shelves. The industry produces what consumers demand, cheap pork. If nobody bought it then it would not be produced. Personally I would love a ban as we produce indoors without stalls, although we do use farrowing crates for three weeks to keep piglet mortality low.


  9. Pique Oil says:

    Far from it Truthseeker. I firmly believe that a society is best judged on how it treats animals. I also know that many are blind when it suits them and to export the guilt offshore does not expiate it at all.
    Gratuitous violence is something that I have experienced first hand and I can assure you that it is not a concept.
    Many of the teachers of my youth thought it perfectly acceptable to cane schoolboys bums with impunity.

    yes I understand gratuitous violence very well!


  10. John King says:

    Sunday on pigs was atotally unbalanced programme… obviously infuenced by a failed comedian and a failed pork advertising front man.. This whole episode was initiated by Mike King… because he was fired from his job. A vindictive and sad man.. I know of pig farms i have visited where the pigs are well cared for.. The squealing of pigs is a natural noise they make.. Sunday.. to be fair and impartial should allocate the same time to the pig farmers to counter Mike Kings selfish attack… SAFE… well they are the last porganisation i would support..


  11. J.R.M. says:

    the pig industry for the last five years has barely been in survival mode .returns to producers have been generaly under $3 a kg retail $11+ in the super markets.Inthose last 5yrs Barley has risen from $215 per tonne to $350 resulting in many producers exiting the industry rather than borrow for upgrading.This has come about by the import of cheap pork and bacon from overseas of dubious quality and raised in far worse conditions than possible inNZ. Many so called Free Range pigs have been raised in shocking conditions ,mud cannibilism thin & dead stock poor shelter – bad husbandry-mostly now departed NZ pig farming scene! King sure needed anew kick start to his career in these tough times. J.R.M.


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