Piggery cruelty charges ring alarm bells about industry board member

Tuesday February 8

Greens WA spokesperson on Animals, Lynn MacLaren MLC has called for a leading WA pork industry chairman and board member to step down while the Magistrates Court hears cruelty charges in relation to his Westpork piggery in Gingin.

Manager Neil Ferguson is currently a board member of Australian Pork Limited, chair on the WA Agriculture Produce Commission (Pork Committee), and a Pork Training WA Committee member.

“This is the second time cruelty charges have been laid regarding Mr Ferguson’s piggery and he should immediately stand down from the industry boards while the case is pending,” said Lynn MacLaren.

30 charges were laid under the Animal Welfare Act 2002 in relation to the Westpork piggery in Gingin, stemming from an investigation commencing in January 2009.  The charges involve Westpork Pty Ltd and two of its staff members.

“In this day and age, cruelty charges are not taken lightly by educated consumers, who have brought about a transformation in meat marketing through the demand for ethical products.

“The industry says that current demand for genuine pasture raised free range pork cannot be filled by the few producers in Australia.

“Recently pork producers voted to voluntarily end the practice of confining pregnant pigs into small stalls by 2017. Personally, I’d like to see the practice stopped immediately,” concluded Ms MacLaren.

For media enquiries, please contact Lynn MacLaren on 0403 721 951.