Making kind choices in your everyday life.

Government letter

As the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestries *, I am writing to you to express my concern about the treatment of intensively raised pigs in Australia.
I am of the understanding that the “Code of Practice for the welfare of Animals – the Pig” is currently under review. The Code is in urgent need of reform. It promotes cruel and outdated behaviour. It does baffle me how our country can condone the use of sow stalls where intelligent animals are confined for extended periods of time when there are other means of preventing piglet mortality. Sow stalls are banned in the UK, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Finland and I understand that all EU countries will be following suit from January 1st 2013. Why is it that our “civilized” country is unable to do so too ?
It further baffles and angers me how The Code makes it legal for surgical procedures such as teeth and tail clipping and castrations to take place without anaesthetic. Just because it is more economical such cruelty should not be justified.
There also needs to be a requirement for CCTV in all abattoirs and welfare inspectors conducting more regular inspections to prevent such atrocoties as were uncovered at Wally’s Piggery in Yass and at the Hawkesbury Meat Processors this year.
Finally, Australia needs a less ambiguous labelling system of pork (and other animal) products. We need truth in labelling so those farmers doing the right thing by their animals can be readily identifed over factory farmed meat. The consumer has the right to know whether sow stalls were used, how free range the product is if that is what it is labelled as (ie the stocking density) etc.
There is so much room for improvement for pigs bred for food in Australia. I hope you will consider my comments and I would be interested in hearing your feedback.
Kind Regards
* Reads “NSW Minster for Primary Industry” in case of Katrina Hodgkinson

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