WASHINGTON – The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) joined other food-industry groups to launch an initiative to encourage immediate reporting of animal abuse, neglect, mishandling or harm.

The program, called See It? Stop It!, provides an employer checklist, guidance for integrating the initiative into existing animal-welfare programs and other tools aimed to encourage employees to immediately report animal-welfare and handling problems. The initiative is an adjunct to the “We Care” program, which promotes the pork industry's commitment to responsible pork production and to continuous improvement in animal care, handling and transportation.

“Animal well-being always has been the top priority of pork producers,” said Randy Spronk, NPPC president. “The ‘See It? Stop It!’ initiative confirms that commitment and is a way to let animal caretakers know that it’s their moral responsibility to speak up to stop any animal abuse.”

As a condition of employment, many pork operations require workers to sign policy documents that confirm their roles and responsibilities for animal care, according to NPPC. This includes reporting any animal abuse they witness. Such policies usually include disciplinary action, including termination, for failure to report abuse.

“I’ve been a pork producer for a long time, and I know for a fact that the overwhelming majority of producers and farm workers do what’s right for their animals every single day of the year,” Spronk said. “This initiative is more proof of that and of producers’ adherence to ethical principles, including protecting and promoting animal well-being.”

NPPC launched the initiative in conjunction with the National Pork Board, the dairy industry and the Center for Food Integrity.