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Animal Matters

Author: SAFE

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Animal rights in Aotearoa New Zealand. Animal Matters is SAFE's podcast about all things animal rights and the issues impacting animals in Aotearoa. Will Appelbe and Courtney White discuss the latest current affairs impacting animals, the decisions of policymakers and government, and the complexities that surround the exploitation of animals.
74 Episodes
Shakespeare said "A rose by any other word would smell as sweet", but how much weight does a name really hold? Last month, the Vegan Society marked World Vegan Month by investigating consumer attitudes towards ‘plant-based’ and 'vegan' terminology, and why those attitudes were held. This week, Will Appelbe and Courtney White discuss their reckons on the matter, and what impacts using these terms might have for the vegan movement. They also discuss the news that 90% of Brits accept farmed animals really aren't all that different from companion animals, and yet another interesting development in the Greyhound Racing Industry saga.
Is the bell finally tolling for greyhound racing in New Zealand? If conversations and media stories with Racing Minister Kieran McAnulty are to be believed, the industry’s days may very well be numbered. After yet another horror weekend on Auckland’s race tracks, a ban couldn’t come fast enough. This week, Will Appelbe and Courtney White get back behind the mics to chat what the future looks like for greyhound racing, with McAnulty confirming the industry could be shut down (pending the results of an upcoming Racing Integrity Board report, due in a matter of weeks). They also discuss the impact fireworks continue to have every November, and a worrying new development in New Zealand’s Salmon farming industry.
The ‘end of the cage age’ has been a hot topic in New Zealand media over the past few days. Unfortunately, though the end of 2022 will bring with it a ban on battery cages, colony cages will remain legal. While they’re marketed as a ‘kinder’ option, what difference do these cages make to the lives of the hens kept locked inside them? Jessica Chambers, SAFE’s Head of Campaigns, joins Will Appelbe and Courtney White to talk through all the nuance missed in media stories and what the SAFE campaigns team is up to in order to free hens from cages once and for all. Not ones to miss a trick, Will and Courtney also pick Jess’s brain on the Melbourne Cup, as well as the exciting campaign to call for a Commissioner for Animals – a call quickly gaining traction across the country.
Why do we consider some animals as pests and others as pets? Why do some vegans choose not to date meat eaters? What’s the connection between animal oppression and certain types of human oppression? This week, Will Appelbe and Courtney White are joined by Annie Potts from the New Zealand Centre of Human-Animal studies, to discuss these tricky topics and the relationship between humans and animals.
The passing of Queen Elizabeth II has dominated the news cycle of late, so it's time to catch up with the latest (and not so great) animal yarns. Will fills Courtney in with the latest revelations from the greyhound racing industry and live export trade. The Jane Goodall Institute has made a strong statement in regards to pest control, and the Aussies and Kiwis might be keen on more plant-based food at their favourite eateries.
After a brief hiatus, Will Appelbe and Courtney White are back behind the mic's! This week they unveil 0800 EXPOSE, SAFE's newest programme aiming to assist those who have witnessed animal cruelty to report it, safely. They also discuss the call for McDonald's to address their stake in intensive winter grazing, also known as 'mud farming', and add a much-needed bright spot to your day with some welcome news for kittens.
Will Appelbe and Courtney White are joined by SAFE Campaigns Officer, Emma Brodie, to discuss a little-known practice taking place behind slaughterhouse doors across the country. They also discuss concerns about the response from MPI into sheep welfare on a farm in Christchurch, green-washing in bottom-trawling, the absent referent in discussions about live export and trade, and PETA’s request to rename a roundabout in the UK – vegan pie, anyone?
Will Appelbe is joined by new co-host Courtney White, to discuss live export, the recent High Court decision on rodeo, and the SPCA's call to ban the long term chaining of dogs.
Cowboys in Court

Cowboys in Court


Last week, the New Zealand Animal Law Association and SAFE challenged the legality of rodeo at the High Court. This is the second time the two organisations have taken the Government to court, and the results of that first court case has caused headaches for the pork industry in recent weeks. And a new Oat Milk chocolate causes controversy when it’s revealed it actually contains zero oat milk. Who would have thought that false advertising may make people grumpy.
This week we talk with Lynn Charlton, spokesperson for Anti Rodeo Action. Next month the New Zealand Animal Law Association and SAFE will be challenging the legality of rodeo at the Wellington High Court. In the lead up to the court date, we wanted to speak with one of the many grass roots activists who have been instrumental in exposing what happens at rodeo events in Aotearoa. Anti Rodeo Action has been filming at rodeo events for many years, and their footage has been invaluable in exposing rodeo cruelty.
Fishes are the forgotten victims of factory farming. This week we chat with SAFE Campaigns Manager Anna de Roo about the salmon farming industry, and how these animals are so neglected. Greyhound racing is back on the agenda, and the Government recently released its first Emissions Reduction Plan. While the plan has some favourable initiatives to address emissions from transport, agriculture largely gets a free pass.
Greyhound racing is facing a new scandal, following revelations made by Newshub that indicate potential neglect and mistreatment at a kennel belonging to one of the industry’s most prolific trainers.  The ban on live export faced a small bump in the road recently, but it looks like it will still become law in due course.  And the Government is proposing a ban on farrowing crates, following a successful court case back in 2020, bought by the New Zealand Animal Law Association and SAFE. Make a submission on the new code of welfare for pigs and demand a ban on farrowing crates.References Racing regulator inquires into condition of dogs owned by John McInerney, NZ's most prolific greyhound trainer - Newshub, 4 May 2022 Racing regulator issued up to 300 warnings to greyhound trainers over health and welfare failures in under a year - Newshub, 5 May 2022 Ban on live exports deadlocked at select committee, but likely to pass - NZ Herald, 19 April 2022 Morning Rural News for 2 May 2022 - RNZ NZ Pork: draft welfare code could be lethal for piglets, industry - NBR, 1 May 2022
On this week's episode of Animal Matters, we chat with Abigail Penny, the UK Executive Director at Animal Equality.Animal Equality is an international animal protection organisation, and they’re most well known for their undercover investigations. Those investigations recently fed into a BBC Panorama documentary that aired in February, which exposed the UK’s dairy industry. The documentary sparked considerable debate in the UK thanks in large part to the damning undercover footage, gathered by Animal Equality. Not only did it expose examples of cruel and illegal behaviour, but it also showcased the inherently cruel farming practices that are considered normal, industry-standard behaviour.   BBC Panorama documentary - "A Cow's Life: The True Cost of Milk?" A short edit of Animal Equality's undercover footage used in the documentary can be found on their website.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released its latest report, and it’s not great. We have a lot to do. But New Zealand officials successfully lobbied against the use of plant-based terminology, which begs the question, did our officials miss the point? And greyhound racing is working harder than ever to improve their public appearance, to such an extent that they’re excluding New Zealand’s leading animal welfare agency from their animal welfare committee. Climate change: IPCC scientists say it's 'now or never' to limit warming - RNZ, 5 April 2022 Climate change: IPCC scientist warns world 'pretty much out of time' to limit warming - RNZ, 5 April 2022 IPCC report: Climate campaigner urges voters to push government and companies to act - RNZ, 6 April 2022 Groundswell refuses to meet prime minister alongside other groups, as ructions surface inside agriculture faction - Stuff, 30 March 2022 Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gives up on Groundswell talks after they refuse to meet with other groups present - Newshub, 1 April 2022 NZ scrubbed ‘plant-based’ diets from climate report - Newsroom, 9 April 2022 Greyhound industry criticised after dog euthanised - Stuff, 22 March 2022 SPCA gone from greyhound racing welfare committee as deaths in industry continue - Stuff, 25 March 2022
Live pigs delivered to your door. That’s what some businesses are offering in the Auckland and Waikato regions. The advice these businesses are giving to kill these pigs is illegal though, and bears an airy resemblance to a British TV ad that many considered was ‘vegan propaganda’. And the equestrian industry has been caught up in more PR disasters, and one such situation involved one of Aotearoa’s most famous horse riders.  Ministry for Primary Industries investigating multiple live pig selling businesses over animal cruelty claims - Newshub, 5 March 2020.  'Showing a pig with a meat cleaver is disgusting': Backlash at 'controversial' vegan TV advert in which couple receive a live pig and the weapon to kill it as a takeaway order - Daily Mail, 21 February 2022. Farmers slam UK's new trade deal with New Zealand - Daily Mail, 1 March 2022.  New Zealand trade deal critical to set welfare red line - RSPCA, 3 September 2021. Equestrian Sports NZ expresses disappointment at social media video of Sir Mark Todd's horse abuse - Newshub, 13 February 2022. MPI among those investigating horse rider’s actions - Otago Daily Times, 1 March 2022. Chinese SOE pushes NZ for U-turn on live export ban - Newsroom, 11 February 2022. Chinese companies lobby New Zealand to continue with live cattle exports - Stuff, 16 February 2022. 
Christine Dorchak is the President and General Counsel at GREY2K USA Worldwide, a non-profit committed to protecting greyhounds and working to end the cruelty of dog racing.
Today on the show I’m chatting with Irina Miller, Daisy Lab’s co-founder and CEO. We’ve talked about Daisy Lab before in episode 53. They’re a food technology start up based right here in Aotearoa, that seeks to use precision fermentation to make dairy products, like cheese, without the use of animals.
Horse racing has managed to avoid much of the scrutiny that greyhound racing faced in 2021, but a string of recent incidents show that the horse racing industry isn’t without its faults either. And a last minute shipment from Timaru rounded out a bumper year for the live export industry, which is showing few signs of slowing down despite a ban on the horizon. Who won New Zealand sport in 2021? - New Zealand Herald, 30 December 2021 Impressive Hastings-trained winner's racing career cut short - New Zealand Herald, 20 January 2022 Champion jockey Danielle Johnson suffers broken leg, top horse Gold Watch put down after horror fall - Stuff, 1 January 2022 German horse trainer won't be prosecuted for punching horse at Tokyo Olympics  - Newshub, 13 January 2022 Livestock vessel set to load more than 10,000 cattle bound for China in Timaru - Stuff, 29 December 2021
Two years on from a power outage that lead to the deaths of almost 200,000 chickens, and we finally have some answers. But despite answers, we still have no accountability. And the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill that will prohibit live exports by sea is moving through a Parliamentary Select Committee. And there are signs that the live export industry will fight tooth over nail before the Bill becomes law.
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