Say No to Pig Improvement Company’s Expansion In Matong

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Attention: City of Wagga Wagga NSW Councillors

As a signatory to this petition, I am adding my name and contact details as an objector to the Pig Improvement Company’s (PIC’s) Development Application (DA NO 18/0408), lodged with the City of Wagga Wagga council, for a proposed intensive piggery at Matong NSW with the capacity for 1,200 sows equating to approximately 13,000 pigs or 15,000 SPU.

I am requesting that all councillors’ take into thorough consideration my views and comments when deliberating PIC’s DA, and PIC’s failure to adequately address the mandatory assessment criteria for a Designated and Integrated development, as outlined in the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs).

I further request that this submission is counted and included as a formal objection, and that my name and contact details are registered and recorded as an official objector and interested party with this DA process and outcome.

OBJECTION

My objection is based on three inter-connecting platforms – Animals, Environment and People.

I am familiar with the concept of, and operational and husbandry practices of intensive piggeries, including the international and Australian operations of PIC.

PIC’s NSW Grong Grong facility has previously been exposed to the public including its treatment of pigs and piglets, and the death of around 500 pigs from heat stress when PIC’s ventilation systems failed to raise any malfunction alarm.

I have viewed with considerable distress images and footage of PIC’s Grong Grong facility. I have included a link to these images and footage https://www.aussiepigs.com/piggeries/grong-grong because as councillors’ and the consent authority, you are all required to assess and consider all submission criteria in an informed and objective manner.

I have also viewed with similar distress images and footage from Big River Pork Slaughterhouse, the Murray Bridge, South Australian Co2 gassing slaughterhouse which will be one of the final destinations of up to 50% of the pigs from PIC’s proposed Matong facility. Again, I have included a link https://www.aussiefarms.org.au/facilities/32a6c-big-river-pork-abattoir to these images and footage because as councillors’ and the consent authority, you are all required to assess and consider all submission criteria in an informed and objective manner.

Intensive animal agriculture is not only cruel and totally un-natural, it uses vast amounts of increasingly scarce and precious natural resources including water; and is a large volume contributor to climate change through toxic and dangerous pollutants.

Excessive depletion of water and high volume pollution and waste leads to significant degradation and long-term damage and impacts to the environment including water catchments and groundwater, soils, air quality, biodiversity and eco-systems.

Intensive animal agriculture is an increasing ugly and un-sightly scourge on what was once a pristine NSW rural region - gobbling up and destroying all in its path. Public health and the right to peaceful amenity is also severely compromised.

Intensive animal agriculture only benefits large and wealthy producers in direct competition to smaller family farmers’ who are unable to compete with large and powerful producers.

By its very nature, intensive animal agriculture operates on a system of volume, confinement and speed of production, with an increased focus on automation. Any initial small number of employment positions invariably prove to be short-term; offer minimal skills or job satisfaction and place often low paid workers at significant risk with physical injury, serious health impacts including phycological and emotional trauma.

The pigs, sentient beings, evidenced as being highly intelligent and social, are considered units of production where their intelligence, capacity to feel and unique needs are ignored. They are subjected to repeated and ongoing abuse, much of which is violent and systemic, from birth to slaughter.

Around 50% of the Matong pigs, after a short and cruel life of less than six months of age and extreme suffering, would then need to endure a stressful and very lengthy road journey to be slaughtered at Big River Pork, Murray Bridge in South Australia and another slaughterhouse in Victoria. The journey from Matong NSW to Murray Bridge SA is 788 kms. On arrival, these baby pigs will be forced into the Big River Pork Slaughterhouse Co2 gas chambers where they will thrash and scream in pain as they fight for their lives.

PIC as the DA applicant has failed to address all mandatory SEARs criteria. In addition, the scant details they have submitted do not adequately mitigate the proposal’s risks and impacts including, cumulative impacts.

In summary, in addition to the individual risks and impacts, and cumulative risks and impacts, the ‘precautionary principle’ must be applied in environmental planning decision-making and conservation of biological diversity and ecological integrity, should be a fundamental consideration. The ‘precautionary principle’ requires decision-making to give the environment the benefit of the doubt.

The precautionary principle

Where there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing environmental degradation.

In the application of the precautionary principle, public and private decisions should be guided by:

(a) careful evaluation to avoid, wherever practicable, serious or irreversible damage to the environment, and (b) an assessment of the risk-weighted consequences of various options.

The principle requires decision-making to give the environment the benefit of the doubt.

 Inter-generational equity

The present generation should ensure that the health, diversity and productivity of the environment are maintained or enhanced for the benefit of future generations (that is, a partnership among all of the generations that may use or expect to benefit from the nation's resources).

Conservation of biological diversity and ecological integrity

Conservation of biological diversity and ecological integrity should be a fundamental consideration.

SUMMARY

I appreciate that councillors’ have an onerous responsibility with such complex and technically challenging planning assessments where you need to remain independent and objective.

I also understand that such complex planning applications which include risks and impacts which reach beyond council’s own local government area, carry an added burden of responsibility.

Based on the various points of objection I have included, in addition to PIC’s own failure to adequately address the mandatory assessment criteria for a Designated and Integrated development, as outlined in the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs), I am requesting that all councillors’, as the consent authority, at the conclusion of your comprehensive and objective DA assessment, refuse this planning proposal lodged by PIC.

Thank you for reading, assessing and considering all my points of view and my objection.