17 Dec 2009

Pork farm welfare code delayed

5:56 am on 17 December 2009

The release of a new welfare code for pig farming has been delayed after the Pork Industry Board threatened to take legal action.

The National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee has been reviewing the code after public concern over the use of sow crates to house pigs.

Agriculture Minister David Carter says the commitee was on track to issue the draft code for public consultation until it received a letter threatening legal action last week.

He says the best course of action is to consult further with the board before issuing the draft code.

NAWAC chair John Hellstrom says the pork industry accepted other recommendations in the draft report to restrict the use of sow crates to four weeks per year from 2013.

But it was unhappy with the view that they could be banned altogether.

Mr Carter says he is frustrated and annoyed by the delay and feels the pork industry has been consulted enough on the issue.