Last chance for Kiwis to have say on controversial pork proposals

Rural News

05 July 2022

There are only a few more days left to make a submission regarding a new draft welfare code impacting pig farmers.

Kiwis have until 8 July to have their say on controversial changes to pig farming practices in New Zealand.

The draft welfare code for pigs released by the Government for public consultation could result in the deaths of thousands of additional piglets, say NZPork, along with the shutdown of pig farms.

NZPork says that if the welfare code becomes law, it could see Kiwi consumers forced to rely further on imported pork from countries where producers use practices currently illegal in New Zealand.

The proposals include changes to the minimum space allowance required for grower pigs, a ban or significant limitation on the traditional use of farrowing systems, an effective ban on mating stalls and sets a minimum weaning age of 28 days for piglets.

NZPork is encouraging Kiwis to have their say on the proposal before the consultation period ends this Friday by visiting the SupportNZPigFarmers website, which enables Kiwis to lodge submissions directly with the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Approximately 2,000 Kiwis have already made a submission through the website.

NZPork chief executive says the organisation supports science-backed improvements to animal welfare and are open to change where it makes sense.

However, he says the proposed changes could force farmers out of business and put the price of New Zealand pork out of the reach of many New Zealanders.

“Our pig welfare standards are already much higher than the rest of the world. The changes proposed by the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) would widen that gap even further - it’s more important than ever that we support New Zealand pig farmers to be the best in the world.

“Even a report commissioned by the Government suggest the changes would result in an 18 per cent increase in the price of New Zealand pork – we need a level playing field.

“We urge New Zealanders to support local farmers so they can continue to produce New Zealand born and raised pork to high animal welfare and environmental standards.”