A New Zealand High Court judge has just ruled that the government’s legalisation of extremely restrictive cages (‘farrowing crates’) for pregnant sows – the main confinement system used for more than 14,000 pregnant New Zealand pigs annually, for decades – is illegal, along with mating stalls (report). This will result in legal change to significantly improve the lives of New Zealand pigs, and is the most significant legal development for animals in New Zealand, for years.

It follows my 2018 detailed report on this matter and the campaigns of partners I’ve worked with, including the NZ Animal Law Association (NZALA) and SAFE – NZ’s main animal advocacy organisation.



In the same week, a farmer was found guilty of using a live electric prodder on two distressed steers at rodeos in New Zealand. The successful private prosecution by the NZALA was the first rodeo prosecution in the country, and followed the government’s refusal to prosecute. I provided expert testimony on this case in 2019.

It’s been an outstanding week for New Zealand’s animals! Well done to the NZALA and SAFE for these successes!