The National Pork Producers Council and National Pork Board were quick to respond to the undercover video released by Mercy for Animals Wednesday. NPB disagreed with the portrayal of pork production – noting that pig farmers have a strong track record of animal husbandry practices that have been developed with the help of research on what is best for the animal. NPPC stated that providing humane and compassionate care for their pigs at every stage of life is one of the ethical principles followed by America’s family hog farmers. Pork Board President Conley Nelson also stressed the deep commitment pig farmers have to the welfare of their animals – and said Christensen Farms has always exemplified that commitment.
NPPC notes that the video comes from an animal rights group that has a goal of ending food-animal production in the U.S. NPPC says MFA and the Humane Society of the United States have both grossly misrepresented what is shown in undercover videos and not told the truth about how farmers raise and care for their animals. Conley urges consumers to seek out more information rather than basing judgments on a heavily edited video. He says many of the practices shown in the latest hidden camera video are described in great detail in videos on the video dot pork dot org website (http://video.pork.org).
NPPC says Mercy for Animals is trying to link alleged abuse to the use of gestation stalls for sows. The group notes such housing systems – which allow farmers to provide the best care to sows – have nothing to do with abuse. According to the National Pork Board’s Conley – veterinary experts confirm that the methods producers use today are scientifically sound and humane. Still – he says they recognize the need to continue working to improve the way animals are raised and cared for. To that end – Conley says millions of farmer checkoff dollars have been invested in improving animal welfare.