A publicity stunt to run a mob of sheep down Auckland’s Queen Street as part of the Real New Zealand World Cup event has been cancelled.
The plan was for a flock of sheep to run from Aotea Square to Queens Wharf at lunchtime on October 17, the Monday before the rugby World Cup final. source
Organisers of the Real New Zealand event listened to animal welfare groups and decided against running the animals through the heart of New Zealand’s largest city.
Isn’t it ironic that sheep in New Zealand receive more humane treatment than people. Why wasn’t the same careful consideration and foresight given to the hundreds of thousands of people who were jammed into the city last Friday night.
The artificial mass herding was opposed by the Royal NZ SPCA but they were trying to work with the organisers to ensure the safety of the sheep. This is from their Facebook page:
Royal NZ SPCA Against Queen Street Sheep Running
“The fact that sheep were herded down Queen Street in the past should give no comfort. One hundred years ago many inhumane practices in farming and the use of animals in circuses and zoos were tolerated, many of which are now illegal.
“The current Animal Welfare Act places obligations on the owner of animals to protect them from unreasonable or unnecessary distress. Should sheep be harmed in this activity the owner would face possible charges under the Act – not a good look in a World Cup environment with the eyes of the world on New Zealand.”
The SPCA Auckland have been working with organisers of the event to ensure that, should the mob run down Queen Street, every contingency has been thought of to protect the animals. However the unnecessary trucking of the sheep, releasing them, running them and then transporting them back is seen to be both risky and stressful.
“We are calling on the organisers to remove this particular event from their program in recognition of the distance we have come as a country that is held in the highest international regard for our animal welfare practices. The risk they take in not providing a draw card for their festival is small in comparison to the distress of the animals and the likelihood of world approbation if even one sheep is harmed”…” more here
Meatworks for 1000 Lambs
However, that’s as far as the sentiment went. Today we learn that almost 1,000 of the Auckland lambs have been sent to the slaughter and will be gracing the plates of the very people who’d have turned out to watch them.
At least the same fate didn’t befall the world cup supporters.
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