Wednesday, 01 April 2020 12:05

Pork farmers want butchers to start trading

Written by  Staff Reporters
NZ Pork chief executive David Baines. NZ Pork chief executive David Baines.

Pig farmers want the Government to allow independent butchers to resume trading immediately and help avoid an animal welfare crisis on farms.

All independent butchers across the country have been classified as non-essential businesses and been forced to close as part of COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown.

NZ Pork chief executive David Baines says the Government’s decision to exclude independent butchers from the essential business list will cause an animal welfare crisis in the New Zealand pork sector.

It says the pork sector will end up not having a place to house up to 5,000 surplus pigs on farm every week.

“By not being able to sell fresh carcass pigs to the independent butchers and other segments, we will be faced with a significant animal welfare issue,” says Baines.

“It’s very simple. There is no capacity to hold surplus pigs on farm. Commercial farms typically supply pigs to market on a weekly basis and do not carry spare holding capacity. Overcrowding of pigs in pens would quickly constitute a significant welfare issue under the animal welfare code.

“Wholesalers do not have the capacity to process and freeze the surplus volumes. Freezing carcasses is also not a complete option to the surplus volume, due to the limited blast freezer and storage capacity.”

NZ Pork has been in talks with Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) about the situation.

Baines says it has been advised that O’Connor is seriously considering the issue.

“MPI clearly understands the urgency and importance of the issue, but we need a decision from the Government now.”

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.


Controversial changes for pigs

A controversial new welfare draft code is triggering vigorous debate between pig farmers and animal welfare advocated as to what…

MPI to monitor winter grazing

As Otago and Southland enters the winter grazing season, MPI says it will have inspectors on the ground ensuring things…

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