Friday, 03 April 2020 09:23

COVID-19: Butchers now allowed to process pork

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Butchers can now process pork. Butchers can now process pork.

Butchers can now process pork, but only for supply to supermarkets and other retailers.

However, the Government says butchers will remain closed to retail customers because the risk of spreading covid-19 is too great.

PorkNZ had last week urged the Government to allow butchers to be allowed to process pigs and help prevent an animal welfare issue on farms.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says butchers are an essential part of the supply chain in NZ for pork.

At present, there is not enough capacity to hold surplus pigs on farms or pig carcasses in processing facilities, which could create an animal welfare issue, he says.

“We need them to operating to ensure that pigs can continue to be processed and are not backing up on farms leading to animal welfare issues.

”The pork industry is domestically focused with limited export to the Pacific Islands so there aren’t as many avenues to offload product into other markets. 

“The pork industry raised this issue with Government and Cabinet agreed that there were strong enough grounds for a change to be made to address specific concerns in relation to animal welfare.”

O’Connor says the Government looked at allowing butchers to open for retail customers

“We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 is too great so that will not be allowed”, O’Connor said.

“The aim in Alert Level 4 is to minimise retail outlets being open in order to minimise risk to public health. This decision maintains that aim while also ensuring there are no unintended adverse impacts on animals.”

O’Connor says butchers who choose to operate will need to follow health guidelines for distancing in the workplace to ensure staff safety and prevent the spread of Covid-19.

More like this

Farmers brace for uncertain times

Rural Support Trust chair Neil Bateup says there is a lot of apprehension among farmers about the future as they follow and experience the disruptions caused by Covid and also by the war in Ukraine.

A defining year ahead!

The coming year is looming as a defining one for New Zealand farming, according to Rabobank agricultural analyst Genevieve Steven.

National

Govt invests in wool

The Government says it is investing to create new product categories and new international markets for strong wool and is…

Machinery & Products

Making life easier

Many temporary sheep fencing systems can be troublesome, with reels jamming or breaking and the bugbear of silly hooks on…

Valtra's following grows

With the release of its N5 and T5 series of tractors, Valtra continues to expand its presence in the Australia-New…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

No free ride!

OPINION: This old mutt is getting somewhat tired of multi-national, tax-dodging, fund-raising group Greenpeace always given front and centre mainstream…

How come?

OPINION: A mate of yours truly is questioning exactly why the Māori ag sector have been given special budget funding by…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter