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RNZSPCA To Seek Tongan Community Leaders' Support Over Dog Slaughter

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
RNZSPCA To Seek Tongan Community Leaders' Support Over Dog Slaughter

The Royal New Zealand SPCA is to talk to Tongan community leaders about preventing the killings of dogs for human consumption.

The SPCA will also be asking the New Zealand Food Safety Authority to impose firmer standards on what can or cannot be eaten, following the discovery of a dog being roasted on a South Auckland property.

"The slaughtering, roasting and eating of a dog or other companion animal is simply abhorrent to our culture as New Zealanders," says the Royal New Zealand SPCA's National Chief Executive, Robyn Kippenberger.

"We understand that the issue might be viewed differently from the standpoint of some other cultures. But we believe that the overwhelming majority of New Zealanders of all ethnicities will share our shock and concern over this incident.

"Over the next few days, we hope to talk to Tongan community leaders and enlist their involvement in making the community more aware that slaughtering and eating pets is unacceptable.

"Tongan community leaders enjoy considerable authority and have extensive networks at their disposal. We have every confidence that they will share our concerns and that they will be listened to," she adds.

Robyn Kippenberger is also to raise the animal welfare and human health risks involved in backyard killings with the Minister for Pacific Island Affairs, the Hon. Georgina te Heuheu and will be seeking the Minister's involvement in discouraging this practice.

"In addition, we will be contacting the New Zealand Food Safety Authority and pressing for more robust standards over what can or cannot be eaten. The fact is that animals such as this domestic dog, slaughtered in backyards, may be disease-ridden and unsuitable for human consumption.

"Although home slaughter is not inherently illegal, much of it fails to meet the humane standards required by our animal welfare legislation. We will also, therefore, be fully investigating what can be done to prevent the slaughter for consumption of dogs and other domestic animals under the current law," says Robyn.

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