In this file:
· Pork industry wants welfare code extended to imports
· 'Pig' of a new welfare code
Pork industry wants welfare code extended to imports
Radio New Zealand (RNZ)
12 May 2022
More than 3000 people have signed a petition calling for imported pork to meet the same animal welfare standards as pork produced here.
Started by Frances Clement, a policy advisor to statutory industry board, NZ Pork, the petition was presented to parliament on Tuesday.
NZ Pork chief executive, Brent Kleiss said New Zealand's pork sector had high welfare standards compared to many other countries with less rigorous health, welfare and environmental regimes.
But over 60 percent of pork consumed in New Zealand was imported with most of it being produced in countries that farm pigs using practices that are illegal in this country he said.
"New Zealand pig farmers deserve a fair go so we believe its time that imported pork is required to meet our high standards."
The petition followed the release of a draft code which will tighten the animal welfare code for local pig farmers.
Kleiss said New Zealand's standards were already much higher than the rest of the world and the proposed code would widen that gap even further...
'Pig' of a new welfare code
by David Anderson, Rural News (New Zealand)
13 May 2022
NZ's pig farming sector believes if a new draft welfare code for pigs is adopted it could spell the end of the country's pork industry.
The National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) recently issued a proposed draft code for pig welfare for public consultation.
Pig farming body NZ Pork says it could result in the deaths of up to an additional 60,000 piglets every year and will also require almost every indoor and outdoor pig farm in the country to be partly or totally re-built. It adds that the new regulations will force local consumers to rely on imported pork produced using standards illegal in New Zealand.
"The New Zealand pork sector welcomes and encourages positive change where there are proven and well-researched animal welfare outcomes for all pigs," says NZ Pork chief executive Brent Kliess. "However, this draft code lacks scientific credibility and justification."
Kliess says the draft code goes well beyond the welfare requirements of other countries.
"It includes colossal changes to the minimum space allowance required for grower pigs, a ban or significant limitation on the traditional use of farrowing systems (farrowing crates), an effective ban on mating stalls and sets a minimum weaning age of 28 days for piglets."
Kliess claims the new code imposes unachievable minimum standards on farmers and will effectively wipe out New Zealand's pig industry.
"Furthermore, an independent economic analysis commissioned by the Government concludes the draft code is bad news for consumers," he adds. "It will lead to a predicted 18.2% increase in the price of all New Zealand-produced pork and a tsunami of imported pork undercutting local farmers and reducing sales of born and raised New Zealand pork."
Kliess describes farrowing crates as "the maternity ward for sows" and says these are specifically designed and proven to significantly reduce the main causes of piglet deaths - such as starvation, hypothermia and being accidentally crushed by the sow.
"Our calculations estimate that up to 60,000 additional piglets would die every year, depending on which of the two farrowing options is finally adopted," he adds.
"We believe that temporary confinement of the sow at a time when piglets are at their most vulnerable is a reasonable compromise when the alternative is the death of 1-2 piglets in every litter in a free farrowing situation."
Kliess says no other country has completely banned the use of farrowing crates and that is because these enabled a period of temporary confinement, which he claims is necessary during the highly vulnerable stage of newborn piglets' lives...
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