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Supermarkets pledge to help WSPA end long-distance transport of live animals

Sep 20, 2011

Hawaii-based stores will no longer purchase pork from pigs shipped live from mainland U.S.

Two supermarket chains in Hawaii – Foodland Super Market Ltd and Times Supermarkets – have agreed to no longer purchase pork products from pigs transported live from the mainland U.S. to Hawaii for slaughter, citing animal welfare reasons for their change.

We are proud and excited that some of Hawaii’s leading supermarkets are taking a stand against the live trade of pigs,” said Sharanya Prasad, U.S. Programs Manager at the World Society for the Protection of Animals. “Their actions will not only have a significant impact on the lives of thousands of animals, but also set important precedents for other retailers to follow.

The supermarket chains decided to adjust their pork purchasing policies in light of WSPA’s recent “No Paradise for Pigs” investigation, which focuses on the transport of thousands of pigs from mainland U.S. to Hawaii every year. During the one-week voyage, pigs are forced to endure cramped, overcrowded and unsanitary conditions; many suffer stress-related illnesses, horrific injuries and diseases. Those who survive the trip are then kept in cages in Hawaii, slaughtered and sold to consumers.

Bob Stout, President at Times Supermarkets, said his company made the right decision to stop supporting the long-distance transport of pigs for slaughter.

Just because something is legal and approved by the appropriate agencies, doesn't necessarily make it right,” said Stout. “We have an obligation as a retailer to do the right thing while servicing our customers. In this case, we are doing precisely that – changing to a more humane method of procuring pork and, at the same time, providing our customers with what they want."

WSPA encourages Hawaii-based retailers to consider safer and more humane approaches – such as supplementing local production with imported, USDA-certified chilled and frozen meat from animals raised and killed humanely in mainland U.S. These alternatives not only help eliminate needless animal suffering, but would also encourage sustainable agriculture and job growth in Hawaii.

Earlier this year, WSPA and its partners, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Animal Rights Hawaii, worked successfully to stop SB249 – a bill that allotted more than $1.5 million in state funds to purchase a privately-owned slaughterhouse on Oahu.

For more information on WSPA’s work to protect farm animals, and promote humane and sustainable agriculture, please visit www.wspa-usa.org/wspaswork/farmanimals.

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