Two pork industry organizations have condemned actions on a Ohio hog farm reported in an HBO documentary “Death on a Factory Farm” that aired March 16.
In a statement released today, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) stated it publicly condemned the mistreatment depicted in the documentary when it occurred in 2006. “For the documentary’s producers to imply the situation shown in the film is in any way typical of swine husbandry in this country is grossly unfair to the farm families who work daily to feed this country and much of the world,” NPPC noted.
Providing humane and compassionate care for their pigs at every stage of life is one of the ethical principles to which responsible pork producers adhere, the NPPC statement continued. “The mistreatment shown in the HBO documentary does not reflect the practices the pork industry follows in caring for its animals. Mistreatment of animals is appalling to pork producers just as it is to others.”
In fact, the U.S. pork industry has a history of responsible pork production from development of the Pork Quality Assurance program in 1989 to launch of the Transport Quality Assurance program in 2002 and development of the Swine Welfare Assurance program in 2003.
In 2007, the pork industry developed Pork Quality Assurance Plus as a continuous- improvement program, and last year launched “We Care,” a responsible pork initiative that includes Ethical Principles for U.S. Pork Producers.
In prepared comments, the National Pork Board affirmed producers’ obligations to protect and promote animal well-being including these essential steps:
--Provide feed, water and environment that promote the well-being of our animals;
--Provide proper care, handling and transportation for pigs at each stage of life;
--Protect pig health and provide appropriate treatment, including veterinary care, when needed; and
--Use approved practices to euthanize, in a timely manner, those sick or injured pigs that fail to respond to care and treatment.
To learn more about pork production, go to the Pork Board’s web site, www.pork.org and click on the video image.
To read more about NPPC’s comments, go to www.nppc.org.