Australian Pork Limited (APL) has for some time recognised the community and consumer concerns around the use of gestation stalls.
The issue of gestation stalls is being debated nationally right now by Australian pork farmers as part of a comprehensive consultation process around the future direction of the Australian pork industry. The consultation also includes discussion around related issues like imports and labelling.
Extensive consultation has also been undertaken with retailers, regulators and supply chain partners, including animal welfare groups in an effort to hear their views as well. This is a complex issue which requires thought, close co-operation and involvement with all parties along the supply chain to ensure it delivers the best outcomes. Individual statements of this nature are unhelpful in this process.
APL is aware that some pork producers have already undertaken changes to their farming practices to gradually phase out the use of gestation stalls.
APL CEO Andrew Spencer has called on supermarket chain Coles to extend the application of its new pork policy to its imported pork products, following the retailer's announcement that it will only source pork from stall free production systems.
Mr Spencer said Coles must now confirm that it intends to place the same sow-stall free restrictions on imported pork used to make ham and bacon products.
“Currently more than 70 per cent of ham and bacon products are made from imported pork produced in countries such as Denmark, Canada and the US. These countries continue to use and have no plan to stop using gestation stalls.
Consumers should demand standards
“If Coles believes this move is about animal welfare, then consumers should demand the same standards apply for their ham and bacon products.
“If Coles does not move to do so, the retailer would leave itself open to claims of double standards by Australian consumers and farmers.”
“Australian pork farmers adhere to some of the highest welfare standards around the world, as required by the national Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Pigs and regulated in states.
“If consumers do want to source pork made from Australian grown pork, especially ham and bacon, they should look for the hot pink Australian Pork PorkMark label. This is a mark that guarantees the pork in the pack or the deli cabinet is Australian grown”.