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Tasmanian Govt Breaks Promise to Pig Farmers

by 5m Editor
11 June 2010, at 5:54am

TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA - The Australian pork industry is appalled by the Tasmanian government’s decision to ban sow stalls by 2017 as announced by the Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries and Water Minister Bryan Green.

This decision flies in the face of the agreement made at Primary Industry Ministerial Council (PIMC) in April 2007, which included the then Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries, to endorse and harmoniously implement the revised Model Code for Pigs across all states.

The new Code agreed to limit the use of sow stalls for pregnant sows to a maximum of 6 weeks or until pregnancy is confirmed. The agreed date that the legislation would take affect was 2017. It was based on extensive consultation with industry, animal welfare groups, veterinarians, policy makers and the public.

Australian Pork Limited (APL) CEO Andrew Spencer said, “The decision to ban sow stalls by 2017 and to move to the six week limit by 2014 has been taken in total isolation with no consultation with the industry. It does nothing to enhance the well being and welfare of Tasmanian pigs and the future for pig farmers in Tasmania.”

“Responsible government does not make decisions like this without first mapping out with industry how it will assist producers make these costly changes. This government has completely deserted Tasmania’s pork farmers with no thought to the impact and ramifications on their livelihoods.”

“There are consequences to government decisions such as these and they come with certain responsibilities. The Tasmanian Government are going to have to make good on their promises by assisting producers make this change to enable the industry to remain competitive. Otherwise this decision is likely to put Tasmanian pig producers out of business as more pork is imported from the mainland where stalls will continue to be used. The policy would be to the complete disadvantage of Tasmanian interests without any welfare benefit”.

Mr Spencer said, “This recommendation is a betrayal of the PIMC process for the development of all Model Codes for national implementation. The Tasmanian Minister’s handling of this process has ramifications Australia wide. Other animal industries should think twice before co-operating in review of their codes. It sends a clear warning and jeopardises the co-operative PIMC process around the development of and agreement to all Model Codes. Sadly the losers in the jeopardising of that process are in fact the animals.”