Minnesota Pork Producers Association (MPPA) Executive Director Dave Preisler was facing a wall of television cameras this morning following the release of undercover video shot in a Minnesota swine facility. Many reporters from Minneapolis media outlets were waiting in line to get Preisler’s take on the allegations made by the Mercy for Animals (MFA) activist group.
Preisler was doing the pork industry proud, providing a calm, rational and research-based counter-point to the dramatic video and allegations being made by MFA as part of a campaign against gestation stall use. He was pointing to findings released by a panel of farm animal care specialists who had reviewed the video. He also provided reporters with lists of credible swine veterinarians, university specialists, and pork producers who were willing to give reporters tours of their operations.
Preisler said the media questions were mainly centered on whether specific production practices shown in the video were really normal. “The reporters are seeking some context regarding what they are seeing and hearing," Preisler explained. “They are asking why we do what we do, such as why we clip tails and castrate pigs, for example.”
He emphasized that the take-home message for pork producers is that communication with the public is crucial. “More than ever, transparency and telling the story about what we do is very important,” Preisler noted. “Pork producers also need to think about the things they do every day and how it looks on camera. Farmers need to be engaged with the public.”
Preisler emphatically reinforced that the pork industry is made up of responsible producers who care about their animals. Learn more about the MFA’s statements regarding their broader economic agenda here.