NPPC steps up against animal rights activists
America's National Pork Producers Committee (NPPC) has
emphasised the willingness of the country's 67,000 pig producers to care for
their pigs' wellbeing.
The NPPC felt the need to do so after repeated allegations of inhumane
treatment of hogs made by animal activists.
The NPPC told House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock,
Dairy and Poultry that the country's pork producers "recognise their moral
obligation to provide for the well-being of their animals, and they raise pigs
in a humane, compassionate and socially responsible manner."
press release, highlighting this plea, the NPPC summed up the implementation of
animal welfare programmes, to show pork producers care,
â€¢ Pork Quality Assurance
(PQA) food-safety programme;
â€¢ Swine Welfare Assurance Program
, an educational and assessment
programme that looks at ten specific areas of animal care;
Trucker Quality Assurance
programme for those who handle or transport market
â€¢ Next month, the industry will roll out the PQA
which includes producer certification, on-farm assessments of well-being
practices and independent, third-party audits.
"There was no pressure to implement these programmes other than
our belief in doing the right thing for our pigs," Barb Determan, a pork
producer from Early, Iowa, and past president of the NPPC, told the
"I am proud to be part of an industry that - on its own
- has developed and implemented world-class programs that help pork producers
raise and care for their animals in a humane, compassionate and socially
The NPPC told the panel
that the nation's 67,000 pork producers oppose bills that would dictate on-farm
production practices, including outlawing individual housing for sows, or that
ban products such as antibiotics that help producers care for their
"We do not believe Congress has the understanding or the
expertise to decide which on-farm animal production practices are best for our
animals," Determan testified.
Mad pig disease?
also questioned a move by the Humane Society of the United States. On May 8,
Wayne Pacelle, CEO and president, claimed that research had suggested hogs could
in theory suffer from 'a porcine form of mad cow disease.'
according to NPPC, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) is not a risk in
"Wayne Pacelle either misled Congress, or he's ignorant of the
facts," said Determan.
â€¢ National Pork Producers Council (NPPC)
â€¢ Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)
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