Thursday, 14 May 2009

Woolworths behaviour is unacceptable...so let's tell them




I have already blogged on the cruelty and maggot infested squalor of the piggery supplying Woolworths in Tasmania.  

I have now received the following information:

The operator of the Longerong piggery Gary Oliver has been charged with 3 counts of aggravated cruelty - the most serious of animal welfare charges - an overall charge of mismanagement causing suffering, failing to comply with a direction under the Animal Welfare Act, and a further count of cruelty following an inspection two weeks after the initial police charges were laid.

My understanding of that information is that the operator had been unable to to reform his attitudes and his operation two weeks after police charges were laid.  In all this, as reported in my previous post, Woolworths at no time suspended the operator and discontinued the supply of his pork through its outlets in Tasmania.

The term "food security" operates on a number of fronts: being able to access sufficient food for health and well-being; being self-sufficient in food production as Australia once was and is not any more; and having access to food which is safe and uncontaminated.

In 1906, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair was published.  This led Theodore Roosevelt to introduce the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, which established the Food and Drug Administration.  To the best of my knowledge, this was the first legislation of its type in the world.  I point this out to emphasise the importance and imperative of food safety.

In Australia, probably the case that comes to the minds of most Australians is the case of Garibaldi in South Australia.   Scientists reckon that each year there are five million cases of Australians getting sick from the life sustaining food they've eaten.  A lot of this is due to the way food is handled and/or prepared. 

However, how much has its source in animal cruelty and poor animal management as in the Tasmanian case?

 In Tasmania, it seems to me, that Woolworths has not been vigilant nor has it taken every safeguard - because it has continued through all this to supply pork sourced  from this piggery.  In fact, a Tasmanian consumer might be led to ask has Woolworths put my health at risk.  

As I point out previously, Woolworths - through its own advertising - has led consumers to believe that its concern for quality extended to on-farm visits and relationships with food suppliers.  This clearly did not happen in the Tasmanian case and the Tasmanian consumer is asked to take on trust that all will be well because Woolworths is working with the supplier - and then two weeks later another cruelty charge.Below are links to the transcript of Stateline and the article in The Australian which will give you an insight into the conditions in this piggery. 

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25471687-5006788,00.html

http://www.abc.net.au/stateline/tas/content/2006/s2564758.htm

Pig farmer in court on cruelty charges

Both emails and phone calls to Woolworths' customer enquiry line will impact on their decision making process and will send a strong message to Woolworths that supporting animal cruelty is not acceptable to consumers.

Woolworths can be contacted by their customer response form on their website at 

http://www.woolworths.com.au/contactus/index.asp 

and on 1300 767 969.

Please contact Woolworths to express your concerns about animal cruelty and food safety and security.

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