Time fly’s doesn’t it. It was back in 2009 that the furore hit the TV screens about pig welfare on our farms. Now, in 2014, after 5 years, and 15 pig litters later, we ask has there been any progress?
According to SAFE (Save Animals from Exploitation) and their recent covert filming on several farms, there is no improvement, in fact it is worse.
The film showed horrific conditions of overcrowding, rat infested and filthy pens, dead and injured pigs, blatant and appalling cruelty.
NZ Pork’s ‘Pigcare’ accreditation scheme has been shown to be a total sham.. Apparently farms have annual audits by independent Agriquality inspectors. ‘Pigcare’ stickers on the meat packs (not that I’ve ever seen any) are meant to indicate to the consumer that the pork is from a farm with high standards of animal care. Sounds promising.
So why did these farms have Pigcare accreditation – did the inspectors not want to get their boots dirty? NZ Pork’s credibility has just gone down the tube.
Government lobbying has had some effect. Animal welfare codes are changing but legislative cogs turn extremely slowly. Sow stalls will be eliminated but not until the end of 2015. MPI inspectors can legally visit farms but only if notified of a welfare concern.
In a civilised country like NZ we shouldn’t have to have legal enforcement to expect the very basic standards of animal welfare.
Sorry pig farmers and NZ Pork, this is your failing and the onus is on you to change your ways now. Your industry is in dire straits.
I am no animal activist but here I do agree with SAFE.
SAFE is asking consumers to boycott pork and I for one haven’t bought pork since 2009 and am not about to until the Pig Industry can prove that pig welfare meets, at the very least, basic standards.
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