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Take Action Regarding Pork Industry
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Dear Ministers, I am writing to express my concern and urge you all to take urgent, meaningful action regarding Australia’s harmful and largely unregulated pork industry. I have been made aware of the serious animal welfare and environmental issues that the industry is responsible for, along with the associated public health risks. A report available at bacon.org.au outlines the extremely high death rates, the careless handling of mortalities and effluent, the pollution and the extreme confinement and cruelty that millions of Australian pigs have to endure in Australia’s pork industry. Agriculture Ministers - I urge you all to address the cruel confinement of sows and boars within factory farms, and to urgently mandate bigger space allowances, pain relief for husbandry procedures, as well as increasing oversight of the industry. I would strongly support the implementation of an Independent Office of Animal Welfare at both state and federal levels, to remove the responsibility of animal welfare from agriculture portfolios. Environment Ministers - it’s vital that you address the serious environmental risks associated with pig waste and mass mortalities. It’s unacceptable to learn that the industry is responsible for its own environmental standards and guidelines, which many operators aren’t even abiding by. I implore you to develop and implement national requirements for environmental standards with strong oversight, and serious consequences for non-compliance. Health Ministers - please urgently address the serious public health risks associated with the pork industry’s antibiotic use, along with the risks of consumption of processed pork products, such as ham and bacon. These products are as carcinogenic as tobacco and asbestos and should be treated as such. The government should lead by example here, and develop public education programs to warn consumers about the dangers, as well as ban the sale and provision of processed meats in public institutions like schools and hospitals. Ministers, this industry has had free rein and has been allowed to commit cruelty and environmental destruction for decades. For the sake of public health, the environment and the innocent animals, please take action to address what’s been ‘out of sight, out of mind’ for far too long. Sincerely,
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