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New Zealand Pork Leads with Animal Status Declaration

With large quantities of imported pork continuing to reach the marketplace, New Zealand producers have taken the initiative and put in place a system providing traceability back to the farm, giving New Zealand Pork customers production information not readily available with imported product.

Traditionally the New Zealand pork industry has been domestically focussed and unlike other export meat industries has not been required to provide trace back through an ASD (Animal Status Declaration).

The New Zealand Pork Industry Board’s Chief Executive, Angus Davidson, said that New Zealand pork producers recognise that the marketplace requires assurances relating to animal health and at the Board’s last AGM instructed the executive to design and implement an Animal Status Declaration for Pigs (ASDP). This was undertaken and a pilot trial put in place late last year in order to identify any potential problems within the system. Minor alterations to the document were required and the system was implemented nationally in April.

Angus Davidson said that in order to provide traceability, the declaration should be completed for all consignments of pigs sent for slaughter, as well as for all other movements of pigs including breeding stock and store sales.

In addition to tracing the movements of pigs the ASDP provides trace back on the use or non-use of veterinary medicines including hormonal growth promotants, and other animal treatments. It also provides information on the control of leptospirosis and quality assurance programmes.

Angus Davidson says the rate of implementation across the country has been phenomenal.

“Although we were expecting a positive response to the ASD for Pigs the uptake by farmers has been amazing. They are obviously very keen to give the marketplace the information it requires and the ASDP has proved to be the appropriate vehicle,” he said.

According to David Baines, General Manager of Porkcorp New Zealand Ltd, wholesalers now have the opportunity to quantify claims about the product.

“Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of livestock production methods - and we are now able to make claims with confidence knowing we have a signed declaration from the pork producer.

“From a commercial point of view this is really beneficial when making comparisons between imported product and New Zealand Pork,” Mr Baines said.

Although the trial ironed out minor glitches in the system, the Pork Industry Board has commissioned AgriQuality to audit the programme to ensure it is delivering the intended outcomes.




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