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Question 10 – Gareth Hughes to the Associate Minister of Agriculture

question of a 10 Gareth Hughes associate minister of agriculture and asks what extra steps if any are MPI taking to ensure animal abuse and the farming sector is identified and addressed effectively and without delay following the footage released over the last week by safe and farm watch your honor Omega Factory the speaker the video footage pertaining to the Northland farmer released by safe and farm watch has currently been investigated by MPI last week I announced my framework for action on animal welfare in New Zealand it identifies four pillars in the peanut voice and animal welfare transparency and inclusive decision-making strengthening codes across all uses of animals ensuring they see at high standards and underpinned by effective monitoring and enforcement and capacity-building to ensure that people have the skills and capacity to meet animal welfare standards I am engaging with the chief executives forum for animal forum so they are clear on my expectations that they will provide industry leadership as well as been involved in the development of the framework does she agree that this case highlights the need to an established and independent Commissioner for animals to promote oversight of welfare issues and to be a voice for animals mr. speaker since becoming a minister responsible for animal welfare I have heard many views in animal welfare calling for an independent voice for animal welfare including it my recent animal advocates who in June my framework for action outlines the need for an independent voice for animal welfare to ensure advice on animal welfare as future thinking timely trusted and well informed as part of this cabinet will consider the possibility of establishing an independent voice such as the animal wealthy commissioner will she consider amending the Lord when our CCTV surveillance on farms and slaughterhouses as is happening in France the UK and Israel or promote the use of cameras with landowner permission as is currently allowed under the law mr. speaker at present the current legislation does not allow MPI or any other law enforcement agency to trespass and install covert cameras on private property or we near fears another end Welfare Act 1999 there is currently no government policy on the use of limited cameras on farm but my expectation is for the industry to step up and ensure there are support to identify animal welfare issues and that the appropriate avenues to report such issues are available to the whistleblower protections for workers who make complaints about animal abuse mr. speaker there are confidential hotlines for farmers and workers who can provide information on potential animal welfare offenses the predicted disclosures Act exists to encourage employees and contractors to report serious wrongdoing including criminal offending and the workplace and provide protection to whistleblowers in the case of potential animal cruelty contractors employees on farms shall report immediately to MPI’s the appropriate authority to investigate my expectation as industry support those farmers they represent at the farm gate and understanding what the rights and avenues for reporting animal welfare issues are my animal welfare framework for action will address these situations further will she request a ramp up of random and repeat inspections for farms subject to complaints mr. speaker I’m informed by MPI they are currently 183 active investigations underway involving animal welfare were 23 animal wealthy inspectors across New Zealand 4.9 milking cows alone with 14 million hectares of farmland and New Zealand to cover I will show through my framework the capacity for effective and timely enforcement as accounted for this work has currently been developed thank you does she agree that New Zealand shouldn’t be reliant on animal welfare groups such as safe and farm watch to gather evidence on animal abusers mr. speaker Cruelty to Animals is not accepted by any newzealand across the country I want to thank those animal advocate groups have stepped up their life I see them my former answers industry also has to play its role to ensure that No animal cruelty is allowed on any of our farms and our homes or wherever we have animals just just before I call on me bro I have been advised that there’s there’s been a fire alarm in the Beehive and as a result of that that building is currently being evacuated I want to indicate that I’m also advised that the that there’s no indication here that they actually being a fire but can I make a suggestion to members who would normally go back that way that they might be entertained and stay for at least the first part of the general debate until until that matter is clarified question number 11 the Honorable Amy innocent Minister of Finance does he believe

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