NZ Pork believes last week's report on the Sunday programme regarding the pork industry was unbalanced, misleading and alarmist.
NZ Pork provided Sunday with a statement for use on air in response to repeated requests for a representative to appear. Sunday chose to deliberately exclude the information that did not support your story.
Because of the programme's one-sided report, viewers were presented with a distorted and misleading analysis of the entire industry. Viewers could not make informed decisions regarding general pig welfare in New Zealand.
Rather than presenting a fair and balanced report, Sunday broadcast the unchecked claims and allegations of animal activists.
Viewers should have been told:
- sow stalls can improve animal welfare by temporarily isolating aggressive sows during early pregnancy;
- it is estimated that less than 10 per cent of pigs farmed in New Zealand spend more than six weeks in sow stalls;
- in this country around 55 per cent of pigs are free range or stall free;
- an overnight break-in, unfamiliar voices and activity and filming with video camera lights can cause anxiety, stress and fear among the animals;
- the arrival of any human contact - including a camera crew - can be interpreted by pigs as feeding time;
- chewing on bars and salivating are not necessarily signs of distress. They are a common reaction in pigs at feeding time.
It is the responsibility of the broadcast media to conduct themselves in a fair and balanced manner and on this occasion you have failed to present an honest representation of the wider pork industry in New Zealand.
To see the pork board's full response to last week's Sunday investigation into the pork industry go to www.pork.co.nz