Sydney, 3 June 2009
Demand the suspension of pork industry executive charged with animal cruelty
Act as soon as possible
The manager of Western Australia's largest piggery, Neil Ferguson, is still on the board of the pork industry's peak body despite being charged with an animal cruelty offence.
In yet another disturbing case of animal cruelty on a pig farm, an investigation and raid were first carried out at the Westpork facility at Gingin in 2007 following the release of footage showing it was so full of waste and excrement that the pigs were struggling to walk. It has also been alleged that pigs were left to die lingering deaths once they had succumbed to illnesses, and that some pigs had eaten others that had died and were left in the pens.
The explicit footage taken at the Gingin piggery can be viewed online at:
The treatment of pigs at the Westpork Gingin piggery is unacceptable, yet despite the animal cruelty charge against him, Mr Ferguson has maintained his position on the APL (Australia Pork Limited) Board. In fact, it is not the only executive position in the pork industry maintained by Mr Ferguson – he is also involved in the training of pork producers through his position on the Pork Industry Training Committee in WA, and is the Chair of the WA Agriculture Produce Commission's Pork Committee.
It is wholly inappropriate for a person charged with an animal cruelty offense to continue to hold a Board position with APL. Likewise, he should not be permitted a role in the training of pork producers.
It is essential that the APL, the Pork Industry Training Committee in WA, and the WA Agriculture Produce Commission revoke the positions held by Mr Ferguson until the case is resolved in court, and suspend him permanently if he is convicted. The hearing is scheduled to take place on the 1st July 2009.
Write to each member of the APL Board, urging them to immediately suspend Mr Ferguson from his position on the Board until the animal cruelty charge is heard in court, and that he is removed permanently if found guilty. Ask that APL also makes a recommendation to the WA Pork Industry Training Committee and the WA Agricultural Produce Commission that his position is reviewed in light of the animal cruelty charge, and that further action is taken to revoke these positions if Mr Ferguson is convicted.
The members of the APL Board are: Mr Enzo Allara (Chairman), Mr Aeger Kingma, Mr Kenneth Cameron, Mr Paul Pattison, Mrs Kathy Grigg, Mrs Kay Carey, and Mrs Christine Quick.
Send your letters for each member to:
Australian Pork Limited
PO Box 148
Deakin West ACT 2600
Write to the West Australian Pork Producers' Association who facilitates the Pork Industry Training (WA) committee, noting that Mr Ferguson has been charged with an animal cruelty offence and should therefore not be allowed a training role in the pork industry until the case is heard in court. Highlight your concern about Mr Ferguson's involvement in the development and facilitation of training courses on stockpersonship and production given the charge against him.
Mr Russell Cox
West Australian Pork Producers' Association
277 Great Eastern Highway
Belmont WA 6104
Write to the Agricultural Produce Commission, stressing that a person charged with an animal cruelty offense must not be permitted to continue to be on the Board of a government committee supporting the pork industry until the case is resolved.
Agricultural Produce Commission
3 Baron-Hay Court
South Perth WA 6151
Please send us copies of any responses you receive.
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