TVNZ says Check your Eggs - Free Range vs Caged

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Media Release - 1 September 2014

TVNZ SAYS CHECK YOUR EGGS

Check out the following link National News onTVNZ  

Prompted by concerns around animal welfare in farming, the SPCA is asking consumers to purchase only eggs, pork, turkey and chicken accredited by the Blue Tick programme.

The SPCA says the Blue Tick is label people you can trust and guarantees that strict animal welfare standards have been applied to each step in the farming process, particularly in the layer and broiler chicken sectors.

Blue Tick has 118 members who are producers and distributors in the eggs, chicken, turkey and pork industries and certifies animal products "are farmed to our high welfare standards".

The term free range lacks a specific and precise meaning and the Blue Tick Programme claims it is the only truly independent and third party audited, accreditation scheme.

"Consumers can play a very significant role in addressing animal welfare and humane farming issues by searching out and insisting on the exclusive supply of Blue Tick accredited products," SPCA chief executive Ric Odom says.

"Now that the recent free range issue has come to the fore once again, we have a very real opportunity to partner with consumers to say enough is enough and, through their purchasing behaviours, to effectively ensure that only Blue Tick Accredited Products are stocked by retailers."

For Further Information:

Janine Hampson Tindale
Acting Blue Tick Accreditation and Marketing Manager
Mobile +64 27 4847722
Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Demand Blue Tick Accredited Products

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Media Release - 29 August 2014

MESSAGE TO NEW ZEALAND SHOPPERS - DEMAND BLUE TICK ACCREDITED PRODUCTS

Following ongoing concerns surrounding the issue of animal welfare in farming, particularly in the layer and broiler chicken sectors, the RNZSPCA is now asking consumers to purchase only eggs, pork, turkey and chicken that have been Accredited by the Blue Tick Programme and which carry the Blue Tick Mark.

The RNZSPCA describe The Blue Tick Programme as a "Label you can Trust". It is the only label that guarantees that strict animal welfare standards have been applied to each step in farming process. The role of the Blue Tick Programme is to provide an Accreditation process which allows consumers to enjoy a high level of trust in their chosen products.

Blue Tick is a certification programme run by the Royal New Zealand SPCA. It has 118 members who are Producers and Distributors in the Eggs, Chicken, Turkey and Pork Industries and it continues to grow. It certifies animal products that "are farmed to our high welfare standards".

Whilst standards in this Sector still require further development, the current Standards for each of these Categories typically exceed the minimum Standards in the various Codes of Welfare. However, the term "Free Range" is lacking in a specific and precise meaning, the Blue Tick Programme, itself under constant review and development, remains the only truly independent and third party audited, Accreditation Scheme.

The scheme started by certifying eggs in 2001 and then added pork products in 2009. In 2011 it added standards for meat poultry chicken and in 2012 added turkey standards.

National CEO of the RNZSPCA, Ric Odom, commented that "Consumers can play a very significant role in addressing animal welfare and humane farming issues by searching out and insisting on the exclusive supply of Blue Tick Accredited Products".

Odom said "Now that the recent free range issue has come to the fore once again, we have a very real opportunity to partner with consumers to say "Enough is enough" and, through their purchasing behaviours, to effectively ensure that only Blue Tick Accredited Products are stocked by retailers".

Odom added "And given the confusion that has been predicated in recent editorial coverage, here at the RNZSPCA we are actively engaged in further developing, alongside our partners AsureQuality, the standards and processes designed to ensure that our mark remains, and further improves as, the only truly independent and fully trustworthy assurance of humane farming".

For Further Information:

Janine Hampson Tindale
Acting Blue Tick Accreditation and Marketing Manager
Mobile +64 27 4847722
Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Free Range Eggs

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Media Release - 12 August 2014

FREE RANGE EGGS

Following the conviction of an egg farmer who admitted duping consumers by passing off 2.47 million eggs from caged hens as free-range, we are concerned at what may well be a significant knock to the confidence of egg purchasing consumers.

The majority of New Zealand Shoppers care very much for animal welfare and for humane farming. Here at the RNZSPCA we operate the Blue Tick Accreditation Programme to ensure that you can purchase your eggs (and selected other products) with confidence and in the knowledge that the animals involved are humanely farmed.

BT-logoBlue Tick is a certification programme run by the Royal New Zealand SPCA. It certifies animal products that “are farmed to our high welfare standards”.The RNZSPCA describe the Blue Tick Programme as “Your Humane Farming Guarantee”.

The scheme started by certifying eggs in 2001 and then added pork products in 2009. In 2011 it added standards for meat poultry chicken and in 2012 added turkey standards.

The Brands that currently carry the Blue Tick Mark on their eggs are Freedom Farms, Henergy Eggs, Kirkfields and Wholesome. All producers supplying these distributors must meet the Accreditation Standards set down by the RNZSPCA.

So we respectfully ask that you purchase only Blue Tick Accredited products and, if you are unable to find such products, that you talk to your retailer and ask them to ensure that they only stock products that carry the Blue Tick Accreditation Mark.

Together, we can work to ensure that New Zealand producers meet appropriate standards and that animal welfare is not discarded in the interest of profit.

For more information please contact: Ric Odom, Chief Executive Officer, Royal New Zealand SPCA, DDI: +64 9 825 1801, Mobile: +64 27 481 1300, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Brothers starved horses to the point of death

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Media Release - 17 July 2014

BROTHERS STARVED HORSES TO THE POINT OF DEATH

Two brothers starved and neglected a herd of horses in Canterbury to the point where six of them had to be destroyed to end their suffering.

Douglas John Williamson and his brother John Blackwood Williamson were convicted today in the Christchurch District Court on charges of wilfully ill-treating six horses, ill-treating another horse, and failing to ensure for the physical health and behavioural needs of five horses.

Both brothers were sentenced to 16 months imprisonment, disqualified from owning animals for five years, and ordered to pay reparations of $7000.

On 29 March 2010 a team of five SPCA Inspectors, an SPCA Auckland horse welfare representative, and a veterinarian went to the Defendants’ Halswell property on the outskirts of Christchurch.

They found 22 horses, of which 10 had body condition scores of 0 out of 5 (1 being poor, 5 being very fat), seven scored 1 to 2 out of 5, and the remaining five were in good condition with scores of 2 to 3 out of 5.

A black/brown stallion called ‘Danny B’ was discovered confined in a small, dark stable approximately 3m wide and 5m long. The stable had one door and no ventilation, and contained very little water and no feed.

Danny B was emaciated, with a body condition score of 0 out of 5. He was found standing in a stall full of urine and faeces where he ‘weaved’ almost constantly, a stereotypical behaviour often associated with the stress of long-term confinement. All his limbs were swollen and there was skin scalding on the heel bulbs of his hind limbs and patchy hair loss over his body.

A bay standard bred colt ‘PM1’, was down and unable to stand despite repeated attempts. He was in emaciated body condition, scoring 0 out of 5. Despite being two and a half years old, he was the approximate size a small yearling. The most common reason for failing to achieve average growth is inadequate nutrition. Because of his seriously poor condition, he was immediately euthanised to end his suffering.

The remaining 21 horses were removed from the property, however, five of the horses with body condition scores of 0 out of 5 were subsequently euthanised to relieve their suffering.

Despite the poor condition of the remaining 16 horses it was expected that with adequate nutrition and health care they were likely to make a full recovery. They were all drenched and put on a feeding plan.

A further 12 horses originally from the Halswell property were subsequently seized from a property in Kirwee, 37km west of Christchurch. All were in poor condition and the pasture was of very poor quality.

Blood and faecal testing of Danny B revealed no parasites and no evidence of chronic disease, meaning the only cause of his poor body condition was inadequate nutrition. Post mortem examination and faecal testing of four horses revealed such serious parasitic worm burdens that their abdominal wall were too damaged to allow adequate absorption of nutrition.

The veterinarian concluded that the poor body condition of the herd of horses was most likely due to parasitic infestation, exacerbated by an inadequate food supply in some cases.

“This is one of the worst cases of chronic neglect we have witnessed and we are pleased with the sentences handed down by the Court today,” says Ric Odom, CEO of the Royal New Zealand SPCA.

16July2014

“Despite numerous complaints dating back to 2008, site visits from SPCA Inspectors and veterinarians, and the issuing of multiple compliance notices, the Defendants in this case have consistently failed to provide adequate care for their horses.”

For more information please contact: Ric Odom, Chief Executive Officer, Royal New Zealand SPCA, DDI: +64 9 825 1801, Mobile: +64 27 481 1300, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Meet Elsie and Becky

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elsiebeckyWe received this fantastic letter and photo from young Elise and her 15 year old Labrador Becky - her best friend.

Elise is thanking SPCA for helping animals and outlines her concerns for animal abuse.

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