The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) outlined its commitment to raising pigs in a humane, compassionate, responsible manner in testimony before a congressional subcommittee recently.
- The U.S. pork industry has developed and implemented a number of programs to improve animal care and handling:
- The Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) food safety program;
- The Swine Welfare Assurance Program, an education and assessment program that addresses 10 areas of animal care;
The Trucker Quality Assurance program for those who handle or transport market hogs.
Next month, the pork industry will roll out the PQA Plus program at World Pork Expo in Des Moines (June 7-9). The new program features producer certification, on-farm assessments of well-being practices and third-party audits.
“There was no pressure to implement these programs other than our belief in doing the right thing for our pigs,” Barb Determan, pork producer from Early, IA, and past president of NPPC, told the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry.
“I am proud to be a part of an industry that – on its own – has developed and implemented world-class programs that help pork producers raise and care for their animals in a humane, compassionate and socially responsible manner,” she added.
NPPC also told the panel that the nation’s 67,000 pork producers oppose bills that would dictate on-farm production practices, including outlawing individual housing for sows, or that ban products such as antibiotics that provide tools for producers to care for their pigs.
“We do not believe Congress has the understanding or the expertise to decide which on-farm production practices are best for our animals,” Determan testified.