‘PigsCare’ website launched as spoof of bogus NZpork LabelAugust 3rd, 2016
Following outrage after the release of new footage from inside a New Zealand pig farm, and criticism of the pig industry by the Commerce Commission, SAFE has published a spoof website about NZPork’s misleading marketing label ‘PigCare’. The alternative website, called PigScare, shows the true face of pig farming and pigs ‘born and exploited’ in New Zealand, says SAFE.
PigCare was launched by NZPork in 2010 and promoted as a seal of approval of high animal welfare. However, it does not require farmers to do any more than meet the minimum standards of the pig welfare code, allowing pigs to be kept in factory farming systems.
“NZPork is taking advantage of the trend for ethical labelling, and attempting to dupe New Zealanders into buying meat from animals farmed in cruel conditions that horrify caring people,” says SAFE campaigns director Mandy Carter. “Mother pigs at PigCare-accredited farms can be confined in farrowing crates, where they cannot even turn around and can only lie down with difficulty. Piglets, once removed from their mother, are crammed into concrete pens until taken for slaughter. It is unacceptable that NZPork is trying to fool New Zealanders into buying into their cruelty.”
The Commerce Commission recently investigated NZPork and found the PigCare label risked breaching the Fair Trading Act, issuing a compliance notice. 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.
Using images taken inside New Zealand pig farms, the website highlights the contrast between what NZPork’s PigCare website portrays and what animal welfare investigators typically find on New Zealand pig farms. SAFE say that the images of happy pigs that the PigCare website uses present a misleading picture of pig farming, and they have re-written the website to expose how pigs are really treated.
“The pig industry say they are protecting piglets by using farrowing crates, but alternative systems do exist, and are already used by 30% of New Zealand pig farmers,” says Andrew Knight, SAFE’s veterinary Professor of Animal Welfare. “The near-total lack of stimulation in farrowing crates results in unremitting weeks of boredom and frustration for the sow. It is difficult to imagine a less humane way to treat such a highly intelligent, social and sensitive animal.”
As well as showing the treatment of pigs and drawing attention to how the PigCare label can mislead people, the new PigScare website encourages people to buy plant-based foods. The website can be viewed at www.pigscare.co.nz
SAFE has calling for a ban on farrowing crates, with over 17,000 people signing in a week.