If you are anything like us, a good feed of bacon and eggs is one of life’s great pleasures. But shockingly, the Labour green government has passed poorly thought-out legislation which threatens to end indoor Pig farming.

The new laws say that for farming to happen, agriculture must rely on soil fertility. Because pig farming does not directly rely on soil fertility, it will not be able to occur in many places the pig farms are at the moment. However, pigs eat grain produced from the fertile ground, and after processing, pork meat meal and their manure become fertiliser. 

We are seeing ever more extreme welfare measures for pigs and laying hens. Emotion is driving the animal welfare pressure groups, and often, the outcomes are not supported by science.

Farrowing crates have been banned and are being phased out in NZ, increasing the risk of squashing newborn piglets. However, CEO Brent Kleiss NZ Pork says “removing the farrowing crates is not what animal welfare science supports and that more consultation on the new regulations is needed.” The pork industry claims the Government has failed to consider piglet welfare and points out that the US, Australia, and Canada use crates the way New Zealand does.

It says of the 600,000 pigs born here each year, 60,000 will die if farrowing crates are banned - that's one in 10.

To top that off, the government intends to tax pigs and hen manure. 

The race toward free range only for pigs and hens will close our indoor facilities. Our hens will only lay in the months with extended sunlight hours, so what will our community do for all year-round eggs? Even so, there were no eggs on the shelves this week and very few over the coming months, and these are the best months. Many areas of the farming areas in NZ are unsuitable for year-round free-range farming.

Government policy has been to import pork From Europe for a decade now, where animal welfare standards are far lower than in NZ, and the overseas farmers also get farm subsidies. Bakers are talking about importing egg whites for their pavlovas, the kiwi icon not so kiwi without NZ eggs. It is hypocritical to persecute our farmers and open the doors to imports in the name of animal welfare! Many of New Zealand’s Poultry and Pig farmers are considering going out of business or already have because our shoppers typically go with the lower prices. The consumer should be able to choose what they want to eat—free-range eggs versus barn or cage eggs. Due to higher prices, families are struggling to put food on their tables, and the government proposals are making it more challenging by increasing the cost of food from New Zealand farmers. This trend will add to a ticking timebomb of bad food choices and destroy our farming community! "For this to occur at a time when we have a 'Cost of Living Crisis' is bad management and creates even further poverty in our families", says Helen Houghton Co-leader of New Conservative. 

New Conservatives believe in good animal welfare and environmental standards, but these must not sacrifice food Production. Decent farmers know how to look after their stock, and we must ensure their business goes from strength to strength!

New Zealand must be Self-reliant and proud of our food Production. We have already seen the disruption caused by COVID. All it takes is one ship to pass us by or one Container not to arrive, and we’re all out of pavlova, bacon, and egg McMuffins!

Helen Houghton