9 Jun 2013

1978 "Bloody Friday" in Invercargill remembered

11:19 am on 9 June 2013

The day 35 years ago that 1400 starving ewes were slaughtered in the centre of Invercargill was marked on Saturday night, by some of the Southland farmers who killed them.

The ewes were dying in a prolonged drought in 1978 and the farmers were protesting against constant meatworkers' strikes that had led to a delay of about three months in meat processing.

Organiser Syd Slee says the sheep were set free in the main streets and then rounded-up and humanely killed in a side street.

He said the farmers' dramatic action helped turn the tide of industrial relations in meatworks around the country.

About 165 people attended the farmers' reunion on Saturday night where Bloody Friday, a new edition of a book about the protest, was launched.