SAFE (New Zealand organisation)

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SAFE (Save Animals From Exploitation) is a New Zealand animal rights group. The group's purpose is to oppose practices of perceived unnecessary animal exploitation and experimentation. SAFE actively campaigns against current intensive pig and chicken farming practices. SAFE is also opposed to duck shooting, live sheep exports, genetically engineering animals and vivisection on beagles and other animals.


SAFE evolved out of an Auckland branch of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection. This group was renamed Save Animals from Experiments in 1972 and renamed again to Save Animals from Exploitation in 1987.


The organisation has around two thousand members,[citation needed] is governed by a National Executive Committee and has approximately one thousand volunteers from inside and outside the organisation.[citation needed] There are SAFE offices in Christchurch and Auckland, and a further fifteen branches around the country. As SAFE is a charity entirely dependent on donations, most activities incorporate collections and there is a SAFE street appeal every year in the weekend before Christmas.

SAFE is affiliated with the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, World Animal Protection, Animals Australia, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Compassion in World Farming and the Humane Society of the United States. It also has affiliations to animal rescue groups such as Open Rescue.


SAFE is also non-partisan or cross-partisan.[dubious ] SAFE has received support from Auckland mayor John Banks and Mike King, former politician Tim Barnett, actress Robyn Malcolm and Sue Kedgely from the Green Party. Leading up to the 2008 General Election, SAFE's Animal Welfare Policy Survey 2008 rated the country's political parties' animal welfare policies. SAFE Campaigns Director Hans Kriek declared that "the Green Party was a shining light having by far the best and most comprehensive animal welfare policy of any party in New Zealand".[citation needed] Ratings higher than 0 out of 10 were also given to United Future, the Māori Party and the National Party. This could be construed as an endorsement of the Green Party, or of the National Party above the Labour Party.[1]

Dairy industry campaigns[edit]

SAFE secretly filmed workers in the winters of 2014 and 2015 abusing bobby calves. One video showed a truck driver throwing calves roughly into a truck, while another showed an abattoir worker kicking and beating calves before clubbing them to death.[2] Both workers were subsequently sacked, with the abattoir owner furious that she wasn't informed of the abuse earlier.[2] Following the airing of the videos on TV five members of SAFE protested outside Fonterra's headquarters in Hamilton and SAFE .[2] The abattoir closed after being investigated by the Ministry of Primary Industries[3] and the worker responsible for the abuse was sentenced to home detention.[4]

Shortly after the release of the video SAFE ran an ad in The Guardian's Saturday edition, saying New Zealand dairy was "contaminated with cruelty". The ad read: "In New Zealand millions of newborn calves are taken from their mothers so that people can drink milk meant for them".[5] The president of Federated Farmers responded saying that separating cows from calves "is simply the reality of dairy farming".[5] New Zealand prime minister, John Key, said running the ad in Britain was "a form of economic sabotage".[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Politics and Animals". SAFE. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
  2. ^ a b c "Down Cow employee sacked". Stuff. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
  3. ^ "Bobby calf case: not guilty plea". Stuff. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
  4. ^ "Home detention for Noel Erickson over cruelty to bobby calves". New Zealand Herald. 2016-07-28. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
  5. ^ a b c "Ad 'applies human emotions to animals'". Stuff. Retrieved 2016-11-03.

External links[edit]