New Zealanders care about the welfare of our farmed animals and the quality of our local farming practices.
To enable local people to understand that our animals are farmed with care with their welfare at the centre of our farming practice, in 2013 the commercial pig farming industry introduced PigCare™ .
Pigcare™ is focused on the care, knowledge, expertise, experience and commitment of farmers to provide the best welfare for farmed pigs.
The PigCare™ accreditation programme was developed by Massey University with the support of vets, pig farmers, NZ Pork and MPI. It is a world-class assessment of animal welfare that verifies the high standards of care New Zealand's commercial pig farmers provide for their animals.
The PigCare™ accreditation programme has been an important tool in setting a consistently high standard for professional pork producers, which is recognised by wholesalers and retailers who sell pork products throughout New Zealand.
every year, these standards are reviewed to enable farmers to incorporate the benefits of the latest innovations and best practices that support the health and wellbeing of their pigs. This ensures they are continually meeting and improving on New Zealand's world-class farming standards.
How is it maintained?
As part of the programme, all commercial pig farmers in New Zealand are audited annually. the audit process is managed by Quality Consultants New Zealand Limited (QCONZ), an independent organisation with an established reputation in the primary industries.
The audit covers the whole farm, assessing the health and welfare of the pigs, the farm buildings and facilities, and management and husbandry practices. Standards under the programme are also cross-referenced to the duties of farmers under the Animal Welfare Act and the Animal Welfare (Pigs) Code of Welfare 2010.
Where assessors identify opportunities for improvement, they will recommend corrective actions designed to encourage practical, long-term practices that support animal welfare. these actions need to be completed in a fixed timeframe, usually less than three months.
Any breach of the standard or failure to undertake corrective actions can be reported to MPI for investigation and result in withdrawal of the PigCare™ accreditation.
The Farm Presentation Assessment
The Farm Presentation Assessment - part of the PigCare™ programme - ensures that commercial pig farms not only have the care of their animals at the centre of their farming practice, but also meet the presentation standards of a well-run, professional food production operation.
Why choose PigCare™
You have a choice when you buy pork products.
Not all pork, ham and bacon products sold in New Zealand are locally grown, meaning they don't all meet the animal welfare standards established by the PigCare™programme.
Pork is imported to New Zealand from a wide variety of countries that have a range of farming standards. Imported pork only has to meet a government Import Health Standard which does not include any animal welfare standards.
Buying products marked with the PigCare™ label, means local consumers can be sure how the animals that have been born and raised in New Zealand have been farmed, with their welfare at the centre of the farming practice.