US livestock bodies launch new welfare drive

By Carina Perkins

- Last updated on GMT

US livestock bodies launch new welfare drive

Related tags National pork producers National pork board Pork Beef Livestock

The US pig and dairy industries have launched a new initiative to improve the welfare and well-being of farm animals.

The ‘See It? Stop It!’​ initiative, which was launched by the National Pork Producers Council, the National Pork Board and the National Milk Producers Federation in partnership with the not-for-profit group Center of Food Integrity, will encourage the immediate reporting of livestock abuse and neglect.

It will focus on highlighting the importance of responsible animal care, helping farm workers understand their role in livestock protection and providing clear direction on how to report instances of animal abuse, neglect, harm or mishandling.

A range of information and resources are available for farmers from the website, including an employer checklist, posters for use on farms and guidance on employee training. The website also provides guidance for consumers on how to spot and report abuse.

The initiative is being funded by the pork and dairy industries. It will run in conjunction with the US pork industry’s ‘We Care’ programme, which strives for continuous improvement to animal care, handling and transportation, as well as the Pork Quality Assurance® (PQA) Plus® programme, which gives guidance on best practice, and the Transport Quality Assurance programme, which provides certification for hog transporters.

NPPC president Randy Spronk said: “Animal well-being always has been the top priority of pork producers. The ‘See It? Stop It!’ initiative confirms that commitment, and is a way to let animal caretakers know that it’s their moral responsibility to speak up to stop any animal abuse.

“I’ve been a pork producer for a long time, and I know for a fact that the overwhelming majority of producers and farm workers do what’s right for their animals every single day of the year. This initiative is more proof of that and of producers’ adherence to ethical principles, including protecting and promoting animal well-being.”

The launch of the initiative follows several recent high-profile cases of abuse at pork and dairy farms in the US, including one case at a Wyoming pork farm, which saw nine employees, including two managers, charged for animal abuse after an undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States documented workers kicking, punching and swinging pigs and piglets.

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