New Zealand McDonalds needs to follow the lead of their international counterparts and set animal welfare standards for the pork products they use, the Green Party said today.
In the UK, McDonalds have strict standards for all pork products they buy and in the US they have just announced that their pork suppliers have 10 years to phase out sow crates. McDonalds New Zealand however does not have any commitments for purchasing pork with decent animal welfare standards.
"New Zealand pork producers have higher animal welfare standards than many countries and are working to improve them but are struggling to compete with imports," Green Party animal welfare spokesperson Mojo Mathers said today.
"Big purchasers like McDonalds have a responsibility to support their local producers who are working to improve animal welfare standards.
"Consumers want higher welfare standards, the New Zealand Government has committed to higher welfare standards, so why isn't McDonalds?"
"McDonalds in New Zealand use imported pork from Australia and Canada which have lower animal welfare standards than those that our New Zealand pork producers have to meet.
"New Zealand recognised the suffering caused by sow crates by putting in place a ban on crates by 2015.
"Our producers are having to compete with imported pork produced using cruel methods from countries with lower animal welfare standards than ours.
"Having just last month reported its biggest dividend in a decade, surely McDonalds can afford to commit to cruelty free pork that will support our local producers and reduce suffering for the pigs.
"At a minimum McDonalds should be using pork that meets our New Zealand standards and the next step would be to move to using free range pork.
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