As animal agriculture continues to face criticism from the animal welfare community, National Pork Board CEO Chris Novak says the Pork Checkoff is dealing with this issue on multiple fronts and with multiple retailers.
Animal welfare popped up on a few ballots this year, due in no small part to activism from animal welfare groups – a natural evolution of their tactic of end-user persuasion to bring about industry change, as was the case when major retailers such as Costco and Target were pressured to discontinue purchasing pork produced with gestation crates. While 36 companies agreed, they’re now finding that they agreed to much more than a handshake; the front end of the production cycle is having trouble delivering on this demand. National Pork Producers Council’s Dallas Hockman says only 5% of the pork industry can provide pork segregated by an alternative sow housing system. While this isn’t the only animal care issue facing the pork industry, Hockman says producers have solutions by being trained, abiding by industry standards and participating in the We Care Initiative and PQA Plus programs. Click here for more information on how producers take care of their animals.