SAFE releases video of 'barbaric' pig stalls on South Island farm

SAFE releases video of 'barbaric' pig stalls on South Island farm
Photo credit: SAFE

Animal activist group Save Animals From Exploitation (SAFE) has released footage of pigs allegedly being kept illegally in sow stalls on a South Island farm. 

The video, posted on the group's Facebook page, appears to show pregnant sows trapped in metal cages - a practice that has been banned in New Zealand since December 2015.

The practice was outlawed after campaigning from the public, but SAFE believes it's clear it is still going on in New Zealand. 

"There's a reason why these sow stalls are illegal. They're barbaric."

The group says it's shocking a farmer is still able to get away with keeping sow stalls in 2018, as they believe it highlights the lack of monitoring across the country.

But industry group New Zealand Pork says the footage actually shows the short term use of stalls for mating, which is not illegal.

"Sows can be naturally aggressive when on heat," said spokesperson Ian Carter.

"It is therefore important to ensure that the more submissive and vulnerable sows are not injured by larger, more dominant sows at this time.

"The use of mating stalls for a short period during the sow's reproductive cycle can protect sows from a wide range of serious injuries caused by other sows."

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Primary Industries told Newshub they were looking into the contents of the video.

"The investigation, in terms of the footage, is ongoing. MPI has conducted a preliminary review of the video footage and has not identified anything that may constitute a breach of animal welfare legislation.

"We have arranged for a pig expert to also review the footage and provide us with an opinion."