News Blog Articles Commerce Commission shows Pigcare label misleading
Commerce Commission shows Pigcare label misleading

Commerce Commission shows Pigcare label misleading

June 27th, 2017

New Zealanders are not buying into the pork industry’s latest efforts to  mislead people into buying their cruel products, says SAFE. Today  Consumer NZ reported that the Commerce Commission found NZ Pork’s  PigCare label risked breaching the Fair Trading Act, and issued a  compliance letter. SAFE says pigs in factory farms that are accredited  under the PigCare label are living in severely crowded indoor  conditions; treatment that is opposed by over two thirds of Kiwis. Later  this week, on Thursday, 29 June, NZ Pork is judging their ‘100% New  Zealand Pork, Bacon & Ham Competition’ for meat that carries their  misleading ‘PigCare’ label.

The annual awards from the pork board are given to butchers and meat  processors. All meat entered has to have NZ Pork’s own ‘PigCare’ label.  In 2016 PigCare was subject to multiple complaints from the public for  being misleading, which led to the Commerce Commission investigation.  Despite what is implied by NZ Pork, the animal welfare requirements for  PigCare do not go beyond the lowest standards for the treatment of pigs  required by law.

A Christchurch PigCare accredited farm was investigated in 2013 and the  appalling treatment of the animals was visually documented. Significant  non-compliance with the pig code of welfare was found when MPI followed  up on the evidence. Some pigs were suffering so much they had to be  killed immediately. A follow-up investigation a year later found even  worse conditions on the same farm. These exposés caused widespread  public outrage.

“The Commerce Commission finding that the PigCare label needed to be  changed to ensure it wasn’t breaching the Fair Trading Act, is a great  result. PigCare allows mother pigs to be kept in cages that prevent them  from even turning around, and those being fattened for meat confined in  dark, crowded pens, never to see the light of day until they are sent  to be killed. The way pigs are farmed is appalling.” says SAFE Campaigns  and Policy Officer Stephen Manson.

“The pork industry can contrive all the awards they want, but people who  care about animals will be thinking about where bacon and pork come  from. Along with the misleading PigCare label, these awards are just  another way for NZ Pork to sell more pork, while trying to hide how  badly pigs are treated.”

“Scientifically conducted polling shows New Zealanders care about pigs,  and do not want them treated in the appalling ways they are on factory  farms. It is time for the government to ensure pig farmers are doing  what the public expects and, of course, ensure any imports meet at least  the same standards. Right now, the best thing people that do not want  to support pig cruelty can do is avoid buying pork.” Mr Manson added.


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