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SPCA signs petition for a National Food Strategy

10 August 2023

The petition calls for a values-based national food strategy which considers all parts of the food system, including the welfare of farmed animals.

SPCA signs petition for a National Food Strategy

SPCA supports calls for a national food strategy and advocates that animal welfare must be considered when setting out a strategy for local food production.

The charity aims to work collaboratively with industry and Government to achieve high welfare standards for farmed animals reared for food in New Zealand.SPCA recommends that animal welfare is explicitly acknowledged as core to consumer expectations of the national food system, alongside food sovereignty and environmental sustainability. Globally, there is a growing recognition of the importance of ‘One Welfare’, which recognises the interconnectedness of animal welfare, human wellbeing, and the environment.

For those who purchase animal products, we advocate that clear information should be provided about how these animals are farmed to enable consumers to make informed choices about the farming systems they support through their purchases. We also call for for consistent and clear labelling on animal food products and compulsory, standardised, legal definitions of terms such as ‘barn-raised’, ‘free range’ and ‘organic’.

“Purchasing food can be very confusing for consumers wanting to know exactly what certain terms and definitions mean,” says SPCA Scientific Officer (Farmed Animals), Marie McAninch. “Proper labelling can provide consumers with information about the conditions in which animals were raised. This transparency enables people to make more informed choices that align with their ethical and animal welfare concerns.”

SPCA advocates that farming systems should provide farmed animals with opportunities for positive mental experiences, and opposes intensive farming systems that rely on close confinement, including the use of colony cages for hens and farrowing crates for sows. Any future food system must consider these aspects of animal welfare when setting out a strategy for local food production.

This petition for a National Food Strategy was started by a coalition of organisations including Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Aotearoa, Eat New Zealand, and Freedom Farms. It closes on 25 August 2023.

The petition requests that a government-facilitated, community-led, values-based national food strategy is developed. Read more here: https://www.fixourfoodsystem.com/

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