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Australian entrepreneur commits fortune to ending factory-farming of pigs and chickens

One of Australia’s richest women has vowed to put her fortune to good use by campaigning for an end to factory farming Down Under.

Posted : 11 October 2010

Jan Cameron, founder of the Kathmandu adventure clothing brand, was spurred into action after seeing images of the treatment pigs receive in factory farms.

“I think we are at a bit of a tipping point here,” said the entrepreneur, who is based in rural Tasmania. “I’m prepared to throw all my wealth at it and a large part of my energies. And I’m very persistent.”

Cameron sold her company four years ago for AUS$218 million, and is now campaigning against the inhumane farming of pigs and chickens.

“These [images] are things I’d never seen before, they were very disturbing and they were very compelling to try and do something to change the situation for the animals,” she told ABC’s Australian Story.

She has now teamed up with Lyn White, a former policewoman and one of Australia’s most outspoken animal rights campaigners, in a bid to stop the use of sow stalls for pregnant pigs. The move has already borne fruit, with the Tasmanian government already committed to abolishing sow stalls, and Coles supermarkets also agreeing to phase them out.

“We’re actually representing the views of mainstream people,” said White. “In fact, industries would much rather that I had tattoos or dreadlocks or a nose ring. But the reality is that the only thing that separates me from the rest of the community is that I’ve had the opportunity to become informed. And that’s what industries fear most, exposure.”

Cameron has also committed AUS$5 million to the Animal Justice Fund over the next five years, which promises cash rewards to industry workers who blow the whistle on poor animal welfare practices.

(Pic credit: ABC News/Meredith Griffiths)

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