The newly announced Advisory Group on Animal Welfare is industry friendly, rather than animal friendly, Green Party animal welfare spokesperson Sue Kedgley said today.
The Minister of Agriculture has set up an advisory group to oversee the development of a national animal welfare strategy, to feed into a review of the Animal Welfare Act. (Note: The full list of advisory group members is included at the bottom of this release).
"Why are representatives from an animal slaughter house, and from Fonterra, about to shape the future of animal welfare for New Zealand," asked Ms Kedgley.
"I have to question the purpose of the review, given many representatives appear to have a background of advocating against animal welfare solutions.
"I am also concerned that Dr John Hellstrom, Chair of the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, is a member of the advisory group, given his recent statements on radio that he believes hens in colony cages are happy and content.
"If the Minister was serious about reviewing the Animal Welfare Act with a view to improving conditions for animals in New Zealand, he should have ensured that people with a proven track in advocating for animals are on the Animal Welfare Advisory Group."
Animal Welfare Advisory group
Dr John Hellstrom
Chair of NAWAC
Dr Virginia Williams
Chair of NAEAC and NZ Veterinary Association animal welfare co-ordinator
CEO, Taylor Preston and MIA counsellor
To be confirmed
Prof. David Mellor
Co-Director Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre, Massey University
Former National President RNZSPCA and International Board Secretary WSPA
Production animal veterinarian, Director of VetSouth, and incoming NZVA President
Marketing and Trade
General Manager Milk Supply