No pros­e­cu­tion over pig slay­ing

The Napier Mail - - FRONT PAGE - LAURA DOONEY

A Min­istry of Pri­mary In­dus­tries in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the killing of a pig by Napier City Coun­cil staff has fin­ished, with a de­ci­sion made not to pros­e­cute those in­volved.

It is un­der­stood the two staff in ques­tion, who had left the coun­cil, were sent a warn­ing let­ter by MPI.

MPI act­ing an­i­mal wel­fare com­pli­ance man­ager Peter Hyde said the spe­cific al­le­ga­tion put be­fore the min­istry was that the pig was not ‘‘ren­dered in­sen­si­ble be­fore bleed­ing out’’.

An MPI an­i­mal wel­fare in­spec­tor had made thor­ough in­quiries about the al­leged in­ci­dent.

‘‘The de­ci­sion was taken that pro­ceed­ing to pros­e­cu­tion was not ap­pro­pri­ate in this case.

‘‘MPI was sat­is­fied that the event was very un­usual and un­likely to oc­cur again.’’

In 2015 the piglet was caught run­ning the streets of Taradale, taken to the coun­cil pound, and killed a few days later.

Watch­dog! an­i­mal wel­fare group chair­woman Jes­sica Maxwell, who asked MPI to in­ves­ti­gate, said the pub­lic­ity was em­bar­rass­ing for Napier Mayor Bill Dal­ton and coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Wayne Jack.

Its find­ings dis­proved Dal­ton’s re­peated as­sur­ances that an­i­mals were al­ways well looked af­ter at the pound, and Jack’s claims that con­cerns about the pound were un­founded.

An ear­lier MPI in­ves­ti­ga­tion found there were se­ri­ous fail­ings at the pound, but no ev­i­dence was found that an­i­mals had been mis­treated.

She said the fact there would be no pros­e­cu­tions was dis­ap­point­ing, but the out­come was ‘‘bet­ter than noth­ing’’.

Jack said the out­come was sen­si­ble.

‘‘Napier City Coun­cil has, and had, strict pro­to­cols in place around eu­thanis­ing an­i­mals and, in this case, the pro­to­cols weren’t ad­hered to,’’ he said.

‘‘The mat­ter was in­ves­ti­gated in­ter­nally and fully dealt with in 2015.

‘‘We are pleased MPI has put it to rest.’’

Stuff re­vealed the killing ear­lier this year af­ter an Om­buds­man ruled the coun­cil had to re­lease de­tails of what hap­pened, af­ter it re­fused to.

Jes­sica Maxwell

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