Nutrition and health
Pigs are not ruminants, (pasture grazing animals) so they need to be fed a balanced formulated diet daily to ensure optimum health and nutrition.
They are fed a mix of grains and cereals for energy, plus sources of protein such as dairy by-products, and soya bean meal, along with vitamins and minerals. Pigs are also excellent recyclers of by-products and left-overs from the human food chain, such as bread, dairy and vegetables from supermarkets that would otherwise go to landfill.
Growth hormones are not used in New Zealand pork production. While PST (porcine somatropin) is registered for use in New Zealand under veterinary supervision, the New Zealand pork industry took a stance against its use in 2002. When farmers send their pigs to processing, they sign a declaration that the pigs have not been given PST.
Antibiotics are not used routinely – only under veterinary supervision when needed for a sick pig and to maintain and enhance pig health and welfare.