Filthy pigs? Not on our patch ...

SUE O'DOWD
Last updated 10:03 03/07/2014

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The proud co-owner of a Taranaki piggery is so confident about its cleanliness that he sometimes walks around in it in his socks.

Ron Stanley, of Oaonui, is frustrated at this week's television portrayal of a Canterbury piggery. Filmed earlier this year, the footage showed squalid conditions, severe overcrowding, and suffering animals.

The Stanley Piggery co-owner found the footage disturbing.

"That's not the way we keep our animals," he said. "I always say if I can't come over to the piggery in my socks on a dry day, then there's a problem.

"Every industry has its rogue players, but they spoil it for the good guys. We do our best, so it's not good when someone lets us down."

Stanley said he felt some responsibility fell on wholesalers who purchased food "from these places".

"They should check where food is coming from."

Stanley said he and brother Noel kept the piggery as clean as possible because they wanted happy, healthy, productive animals.

"If they're not happy and healthy, they won't grow," he said.

Agriculture Minister David Carter, now Parliament's Speaker, was impressed by the piggery when he visited in 2011 at the completion of a $3 million-plus rebuilding programme.

The rebuild allowed the piggery to comply then with regulations banning sow stalls that don't come into effect until next year.

The piggery, one of four commercial pig farms in Taranaki, underwent the independent PigCare Audit last month.

"Ours was fine," Stanley said.

NZ Pork believes no pig farms in Taranaki have failed the PigCare Audit programme administered by AsureQuality.

It also believed no farms in the region were required to take action to ensure compliance with the standard of the Pig Care Accredited label.

All farms had to be audited annually if they wanted to put the label on their products, NZPork chairman Ian Carter said.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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