New Zealanders care about the welfare of farmed animals and the quality of local farming practices.

In 2010, the commercial pig farming industry introduced the PigCare programme to ensure farmed pigs were cared for under strict animal welfare requirements. PigCare gives New Zealanders the assurance that our farmed pigs are raised with care.

Pigs Trotting

About PigCare

PigCare was developed by Massey University with the support of veterinarians, pig farmers, New Zealand Pork, and the Ministry for Primary Industries.

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.

Pigs watching
It is focused on the care, knowledge, expertise, experience and commitment of farmers to provide the best welfare for farmed pigs.

What PigCare does

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.

Pig Barn

Maintaining PigCare

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 the MPI for investigation and result in withdrawal of the PigCare accreditation.

Farmers who do not meet the PigCare standards would fail their PigCare audit and, as a result, their pigs will receive a lower price. They will not be able to use the PigCare Accredited New Zealand pork, bacon and ham logo on their product.


1. Number of Certified Farms

As at 24 September 2018, there were 93 piggeries certified with the PigCare programme.

2. Summary of Reasons for Non-Compliance

As at 24 September 2018 there were no farms registered with PigCare that were non-compliant.

3. Corrective Actions Required

As at 24 September 2018, there was one piggery with open corrective actions. These corrective actions required the following issues to be addressed: Extra feeders to be installed.

  • Extra feeders to be installed.
  • Effluent scraper requiring repair.

4. Timeframes to Correct

The PigCare programme procedures state that the time period to clear a non-compliance is 30 working days, unless a shorter period is specified by the assessor.

This information will be updated at six monthly intervals.

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 the animals that have been born and raised in New Zealand have been farmed with their welfare in mind.