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Legal / Regulatory

June 28, 2020 - MSN

NEW ZEALAND: The most significant animal welfare court case in NZ history

NEW ZEALAND: The most significant animal welfare court case in NZ history
Pigs in farrowing cratesFile Photo / © Photabulous!

More than half of New Zealand's pig farmers could be left in financial ruin if a first-of-its-kind court challenge is successful. The High Court is reviewing whether the use of cages in pig farming is actually illegal under the Animal Welfare Act.

It's the first case of its kind in New Zealand and "the most significant animal welfare decision and case in a generation", according to Marcelo Rodriguez Ferrere, a senior law lecturer at the University of Otago.

About 60 percent of pigs farmed in New Zealand are raised indoors. Most of them are inseminated in cages, and forced to give birth and raise their piglets in cages - known as farrowing. Mother pigs, or sows, can only take a few steps forward and back in the cages. They cannot turn around, and cannot perform instinctive behaviours, like nest building.

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