The latest episode of Landline which has ruffled some feathers on Twitter.
The closure of the LE Giles & Sons Abattoir is an affair between the apparently undependable statutory authority, Primesafe, and a business at which an alleged breach of the law took place. The alleged fraudulence of Sarah Lynch, the undercover animal activist who obtained the footage, too, ought to be investigated but to focus on that is a diversion.
Primesafe had every right to investigate a complaint irrespective of the character of the party who brought the complaint to their attention. Heck, the complainant could have been an enraged mass murder who broke into the facilities by running a tractor through the fence. The content of the evidence is what it is important and, at least on face value, it appeared to display a potential breach of the law. That breach ought to be investigated. Whether revoking the business’s licence under the Meat Industry Act 1993 is the appropriate action is what most people have a gripe with. For if it wasn’t revoked – or handed back by LE Giles & Sons as Primesafe claims – it would be fair to say they could have continued operating whilst the investigation took place.
The tilt of this report was overwhelmingly bias. To be expected from Landline. The stories of the primary producers affected by the closure were understandably emotional but didn’t see the complaint for what it was potentially worth. All charges were later dropped, for reasons unknown claim the parties involved. However, what if they were found to be valid and charges ensued? The character references made by businesses and individuals associated with LE Giles & Sons would have been rather credulous indeed.
I hope those affected by this case take it upon themselves to expect more by way of animal welfare measures so they can be certain of what happens to their livestock. One thing is for sure with this story: there still is a lot of uncertainty surrounding it.
Update: I don’t necessarily agree with what Sarah Lynch did to obtain the footage that lead to such a dire chain of events. She gained access to a private premises through deception and took advantage of somebody’s goodwill. This could be viewed as immoral at least, illegal at most. However, I think there are situations where such acts produce consequences good enough to justify them. I think most reasonable, fair-minded people would agree with that.
The jury is out on this one.