New Zealand’s $1 billion pork industry could cease to exist if import rules are relaxed and the Porcine Reproductive Respiratory Syndrome became established.
The use of sow stalls on New Zealand pig farms is to be limited to four weeks after mating in 2012, and banned by the end of 2015, following controversy over the practice.
Agriculture Minister David Carter has today released the Animal Welfare (Pigs) Code of Welfare 2010, which will come into effect on Friday.
“The growing unease of many New Zealanders about the use of sow stalls, which I share, made it clear that change was necessary. The science also supports this,” Mr Carter said.
The beleaguered pork industry has been offered sage advice by agriculture minister David Carter: maintain integrity of production.
Battling critical opposition from animal welfare groups and a rogue celebrity spokesman this year, pig meat farmers also must contend with rising feed costs and volatile farm gate prices.
At the New Zealand Pork Board conference this morning, Mr Carter advised pig farmers that the industry could treat animal welfare issues as an opportunity or a challenge.
It’s not swine flu; it’s ‘North American Influenza’ says the New Zealand Pork Industry Board as it sets out to defend its pigs against viruses and negative publicity alike.
The pork industry is worth an estimated $1 billion to the New Zealand economy and its leaders are worried that media-fed misinformation about influenza A (H1N1) could prove as deadly to the industry as the virus itself.
To quell any possible consumer backlash arising from flu fear NZ Pork has issued a statement extolling the safety of New Zealand-raised pork.