Pork producers misleading the public

Editor February 2, 2011

The National Council of SPCAs is taking the South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) to task over the issue of gestation crates for pigs.

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SAPPO issued a media statement on 28 January stating “The following time frames are being discussed for the phasing out of gestation crates: – As of 1st January 2020 pregnant sows may only be kept in gestation crates for a maximum of 63 days.”

This is unacceptable.

The NSPCA refutes the statement in the SAPPO press release that “SAPPO is in continual discussions with the NSPCA in regard to phasing our gestation crates.”

This gives the impression that the NSPCA is lenient. They have ignored us, disrespected a previous deadline and now wish to extend the phasing out of this inherently cruel practice further. In a communication to SAPPO in 2006, a five year phase out period was proposed which was in line with international standards.

We shall not tolerate the extension of the phasing-out period until 2020. We have no option but to insist that a five-year phasing out period will take place and we issue a firm warning that there will be no extensions beyond that.

It has already been too long.

Echoing the SAPPO media statement, the NSPCA agrees that “South African farmers should not be disadvantaged by the significant investment costs to adopt new welfare standards”. We add that they have already had five years and are asking for a further 9!

This is hardly the “realistic time frame” referred to by the industry representatives.

In the UK, Sweden, Switzerland and some US states, the crating of sows has been banned. In the EU the phasing-out period ends in 2012.

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    Disgusting – I hope they phase this out soon here in SA.