Results of a pork industry survey presented at the World Pork Expo in Des Moines concluded that animal welfare is the most significant issue facing producers. The survey was conducted by the National Pork Producers Council and tallied responses from 183 pork producers.
Among general issues considered most “serious” to producers are animal welfare, food safety, environment, public health, worker care and on-farm security. Issues most important to the environmental future of the pork industry included water quality, air quality, antibiotic use, respiratory issues and greenhouse gas emissions. Owners made up 74 percent of survey respondents, 11 percent were contract feeders, 5 percent were facility managers, 7 percent were environment managers and 3 percent “other”.
The survey also asked what could be done to improve environmental performance. The leading response was better site selection followed by elimination of manure spills, old lagoon management, reduction of odor from manure spreading and improved mortality disposal.
The survey invited input on what NPPC could do to improve pork industry interaction with regulators. The number one response was for the NPPC to refute misconceptions that exist in the public on behalf of the industry. Other avenues of help from NPPC included regular field visits, workshops and supplying educational materials.
In dealing with odor and air quality issues, most producers believe NPPC could be most useful by helping to create rational rules for measuring odor. The most challenging areas for controlling odor were animal housing followed by under-building manure pits, lagoons, agitation and broadcast manure spreading.
The survey indicated that the most useful means for the NPPC to communicate with its constituents was email, followed by state meetings, NPPC Web site and personal help.