Protecting pigs: major live importer to end shipments

Mar 18, 2009

The public awareness campaign ran on bus posters and in print

Recent campaign activity has taken the Handle with Care coalition – which seeks to end the cruelty of long distance transport for slaughter – a step closer to stopping live pig imports from the US mainland to Hawaii.

After a targeted advertising campaign and a legal petition – questioning the labelling of meat from transported animals as ‘Island-produced pork’ – the largest importer has now indicated it will stop importing live pigs to Hawaii.

Oahu Hawaii Food Products CEO, Norman Oshiro, said that from April he will instead order chilled pork from the mainland for his customers.

The chilled and frozen food trade has long rendered the cruelty of long distance transport of animals for slaughter unnecessary.

Dual action pays off for pigs

Handle with Care’s legal petition, filed with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, asks for an investigation into the labelling of meat from imported animals as ‘island produced’.

This misleading packaging gives consumers the impression that they are supporting local food production, rather than merely local slaughter, and leaves them ignorant of the cruelty involved.

Our petition calls for the use of the labels to be prohibited if they are found to violate Hawaiian law.

Meanwhile, posters bearing the slogan ‘stop unnecessary suffering’ ran in more than 500 Honolulu-area buses from early 2009, alerting residents and tourists to the plight of imported pigs.

These were backed by a series of print advertisements in the Honolulu Weekly newspaper revealing the dirty, hot and cramped conditions that transported animals endure.

The print ad included a clip-out coupon to send to the three Hawaiian grocery store chains that sell pork from imported pigs with ‘island produced’ labels, and online petitions targeting the stores were produced by coalition members in the USA.

Making a habit of humane living

The success of this brief, targeted campaign shows what can be achieved when the public reject cruelty.

Supermarkets and suppliers of animal products will respond to the pressure of informed, compassionate consumers.

Find out more about shopping humanely in the US >>

Read internationally applicable advice about making animal welfare part of your daily life >>

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