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17 December 2010 - Smithfields turn their backs on sow stall promise      

Smithfields turn their backs on sow stall promise

17 December 2010                                                              

In 2007, Smithfield Foods (one of the largest pork producers in the world) promised to phase out the use of sow stalls in all their operations by 2017.

Animal welfare groups hailed the decision as the most significant voluntary improvement ever made in pig welfare.  The pressure was off Smithfields and they revelled  in the praise.  For the next 4 years they traded on their empty promise.  Smithfields have recently announced that they are reneging on the pledge to put an end to the suffering of confined sows

This may sound familiar.  An industry promise to pursue the voluntary phasing out of sow stalls by 2017?

Just like Smithfield’s, the Australian Pork industry promise to phase out sow stalls is only voluntary and there is nothing to bind industry to fulfil it. We have heard the CEO of Australian Pork compare this undertaking with the banning, by law, of sow stalls in New Zealand in an effort to mislead consumers into believing that there is an actual ban on sow stalls in Australia.

Sow stalls are not banned here.  In fact we have new legislation that permits their use indefinitely.

The Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals – Pigs, is due for review in 2014.  Lets get serious about ending the use of sow stalls and legislate a ban on their use instead of relying on an industry that is attempting to trade on the ignorance of consumers.

Smithfield Foods promised an end to sow stalls in 2017.  This footage from Humane Society International shows it’s just business as usual for Smithfields and the promise to end these pig’s suffering is a distance memory.  Don’t let that happen to Australian pigs.  Support the industry when they have actually delivered on their promise, not before.  Demand the pork you buy is actually sow stall free.

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