The U.S. pork industry has developed and implemented several programs to improve animal care and handling, including: the Pork Quality Assurance food-safety program; the Swine Welfare Assurance Program, an educational and assessment program reviews 10 areas of animal care; and the Trucker Quality Assurance program for those who handle or transport market hogs. Next month, the industry will roll out the PQA Plus program, which includes producer certification, on-farm assessments of well-being practices and independent, third-party audits.
“There was no pressure to implement these programs other than our belief in doing the right thing for our pigs,” said Barb Determan, past president of NPPC and an Iowa pork producer. She told the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry, “I am proud to be part of an industry that – on its own – has developed and implemented world-class programs that help pork producers raise and care for their animals in a humane, compassionate and socially responsible manner.”
NPPC told the panel that the nation’s 67,000 pork producers oppose bills that would dictate on-farm production practices, including outlawing individual-sow housing, or that ban products such as antibiotics that help producers address their animal's health.
“We do not believe that Congress has the understanding nor the expertise to decide which on-farm animal production practices are best for our animals,” Determan testified.
Source: National Pork Producers Council