MAF and RNZSPCA to investigate poultry welfare complaint

04 April 2001

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) and the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RNZSPCA) are to investigate an allegation relating to the way that Tegel Poultry destroyed 5000 chicks, unwanted in the egg laying industry.

In a joint statement today, the Ministry and RNZSPCA said:

  • 'Maceration' (instant fragmentation) was an internationally-accepted and humane way to destroy unwanted chicks and was approved by the RNZSPCA, MAF, the New Zealand Veterinary Association, and the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee;
  • The method was deployed to kill male chicks, unwanted for egg laying;
  • Using this method the chicks were killed instantly 'in less than one tenth of a second';
  • The issue under investigation was not whether or not the method of destruction was humane, but whether or not it was carried out properly in this instance;
  • MAF and RNZSPCA staff would be travelling to the Tegel facility in Taranaki and investigating this issue;
  • Results of this investigation would be available Friday 6 April;
  • There was no existing evidence that Tegel had breached the Animal Welfare Act.

For more information contact MAF's Director of Animal Welfare, David Bayvel, on 04 474 4251 or 025 220 9313; or RNZSPCA Immediate Past President Peg Loague on 07 378 7630 or 025 762 824.

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