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Animal Care: Yes, It’s Our Job. It’s Also Our Ethical Responsibility

I’m a businessman. I’m also the caretaker of animals. These two components of my job as a pig farmer converge in my intense focus — as well as the focus of pig farmers around the U.S. — on animal care and welfare.
 
As one of the We CareSM Principles, maintaining the highest standards for animal care is a top priority on my pig farm for many reasons. It’s paramount to our success as pig farmers on multiple levels.
 
The general public has a lot of misconceptions about what we do as pig farmers, and it’s our responsibility to not just do the right thing for our animals but also communicate to our consumers the work we put in — from daily work on our farms to formal education and training — to ensure our pigs live safe, healthy lives.
 
So why is animal care so important to pig farmers?
 
First and foremost, it’s our responsibility to provide the best care possible for our animals. I know that the animals under my care live for a specific purpose, and their entire existence is dedicated to a specific goal. That makes it my job to ensure pigs on my family’s farm live healthy, comfortable lives free of illness and disease and with everything they need to achieve full physical potential.
 
The better we care for our animals, the better they perform for us. Healthy pigs are productive pigs, making animal health and well-being major priorities for me as a pig farmer because it simply makes good business sense. If the animals I care for every day aren’t enabled to reach their full potential, the entire farm will suffer. That’s why we work hard to provide clean barns with ample space for each animal, good ventilation, and a plentiful supply of feed and water. We want our pigs to achieve their potential because our farm’s future depends on it.
 
Our consumer expects a consistent, high-quality product. Maintaining the highest standards for animal care and well-being help pig farmers provide exactly what the consumer demands. With the demand for high-quality protein increasing worldwide, the emphasis on strong animal care will continue to grow. That means pig farmers should always keep animal care as a top priority and be willing to evolve their farms to ensure we continue to meet consumer needs for high-quality protein produced in the most ethical ways possible.
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