2 Apr 2020

Government allows butchers to process pork for wholesale only

8:23 pm on 2 April 2020

The government is loosening some restrictions on independent butchers.

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Photo: 123rf.com

The pork industry had said the decision to classify butchers as non-essential businesses could lead to thousands of pigs being euthanised.

NZ Pork chief executive David Baines said the decision would likely result in the pork sector having no place to house up to 5000 surplus pigs on farms every week, which would have led to a significant animal welfare issue.

Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor responded today by announcing that butchers would now be allowed to process pork, but only for wholesale supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that were open.

O'Connor said butchers would still not be allowed to open their shops for retail customers, because the risk of spreading Covid-19 was too great.

Industry group NZ Pork said that did not go far enough. It said it believed the large-scale culling of pigs would still be required.

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