Animal advocacy group Direct Animal Action have exposed Tegel’s poor animal welfare practices at one of their farms near Helensville. This follows Tegel’s decision to stall on their controversial proposed mega farm in the Kaipara District.
“Tegel are running scared because they know they can’t win in the face of so much opposition and evidence of their poor farming practices,” says Deirdre Sims, spokesperson for Direct Animal Action.
“When we investigated one of their farms near Helensville this month, we were shocked. New Zealanders don’t really know what goes on behind the closed doors of Tegel chicken farms, so we wanted to show them.”
“During two separate visits to the Tegel farm, we witnessed numerous dead chickens, lame chickens struggling to walk, cannibalised chickens, chickens lying on their backs unable to right themselves and a chicken with a grossly deformed beak that was clearly unable to eat or drink sufficiently.”
“According to the Code of Welfare for Meat Chickens, these animals should have been humanely destroyed but clearly they’d been left to struggle and eventually die.”
“We were horrified at what we saw especially given Tegel say on their website they work alongside the Ministry for Primary Industries to ensure they “adhere to the highest levels of animal health welfare.””
“We reported the farm to MPI who carried out an unannounced inspection on Friday. We’re waiting for the results of this.”
“Tegel meat chickens are bred to grow rapidly and they suffer immensely because of it. Over 5-6 weeks they grow from fluffy baby chick to a supermarket sized Tegel chicken.”
“This causes significant welfare problems because their baby skeletons and internal organs struggle to keep up with the massive growth.”
“We’re supporting the Kaipara locals and the Kāpehu marae against Tegel because we’re concerned about local community rights, iwi rights and the rights of the environment and animals. We don’t like to see mega corporations like Tegel steamrolling over small communities.”
“However as an animal advocacy organisation, given what we witnessed at a Tegel farm this month, we’re seriously concerned about the sheer scale of suffering that Tegel’s proposed 9 million meat chicken mega farm will result in.”
“We know that Tegel will be back with another plan to try and push their mega farm though. We don’t know what that will look like but we’ll be ready and waiting alongside Kaipara locals to oppose whatever plan Tegel hatch.”
“Mega farms like what Tegel are proposing are not the direction New Zealand should be heading in. They’re bad for our animals, the environment and local communities.”
“Instead, we should be shifting towards enterprising and entrepreneurial models of farming like plant-based proteins. These type of farming models are cleaner for our environment and kinder to animals and surrounding communities,” says Ms. Sims.