Dog dump­ing

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Ed­i­tor,

The dump­ing of dog bod­ies at Hi­matangi, as re­ferred to in Dr Ian Schraa’s ar­ti­cle [head­lined] ‘Life and death code’ [KMN, Jan­uary 10] was in­deed to be de­plored and there is no dis­put­ing that this was a most in­ap­pro­pri­ate method of an ap­par­ent emp­ty­ing of a body stor­age freezer by per­sons un­known.

How­ever, there were some in­ac­cu­ra­cies in the ar­ti­cle that are worth men­tion­ing.

In par­tic­u­lar, the news re­porter spoke to the lo­cal body mem­ber not of the Val­ley An­i­mal Re­search Cen­tre (VARC) com­mit­tee but of the Massey Univer­sity an­i­mal ethics com­mit­tee, who im­plied that, be­cause he would have known of an equiv­a­lent VARC mem­ber, per­haps there wasn’t one.

In fact, although the VARC com­mit­tee is cur­rently not ac­tive, when the re­search high­lighted on the tele­vi­sion was car­ried out, the com­mit­tee was in­deed ac­tive and prop­erly con­sti­tuted.

In­deed, it had not only the three leg­isla­tively re­quired ex­ter­nal mem­bers but an ex­tra one as well.

All of these, I am quite sure, would have been hor­ri­fied at the dump­ing of the bod­ies.

For your in­for­ma­tion, the Na­tional An­i­mal Ethics Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee (NAEAC) is an in­de­pen­dent ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee to the Min­is­ter for Pri­mary In­dus­tries and to an­i­mal ethics com­mit­tees, not a di­vi­sion of the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Forestry (MAF).

Nei­ther does it ‘‘reg­u­late ethics com­mit­tees’’. The An­i­mal Wel­fare Act 1999 is reg­u­lated by MAF, although NAEAC over­sees the sys­tem. VIRGINIA WIL­LIAMS, NAEAC

chair­man.

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