A coalition of animal protection groups has submitted a petition to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture to investigate if ‘island-produced’ pork labels, when used on meat from imported animals, are in violation of the Hawaii Meat Inspection Act.
According to these groups, in 2008, a total of 13,082 pigs were imported from California, Iowa, Montana and South Dakota for slaughter.
The purpose of this practice is to produce meat that can be sold as ‘Island Produced Pork’. The petition urges the Department of Agriculture to ensure that these labels are reserved for meat produced from pigs born, raised and slaughtered in Hawaii.
“Imported pigs suffer trauma and increased risk for disease prior to slaughter, yet people are led to believe they are purchasing a premium local product,” said Dena Jones, US programmes director for the World Society for the Protection of Animals, the lead organiser of the petition.
The petition specifically requests the Hawaii Department of Agriculture to investigate potential Hawaii Meat Inspection Act violations committed by pig importer and pork distributor Hawaii Food Products and specific grocery store chains that label such products: Times Supermarkets, Star Markets and Foodland Super Market.
The appeal comes on the heels of Governor Linda Lingle’s State of the State Address in which she emphasised the need for the state to boost food self-sufficiency.
WWorld Society for the Protection of Animals