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Practice of shipping pigs to Hawaii for slaughter ends

| Monday, March 5, 2018, 10:04 a.m.

HONOLULU — The practice of shipping live pigs to Hawaii for slaughter has ended.

Industry players said a combination of economic forces, including a long decline in locally raised pigs sent to Oahu's only slaughterhouse, led importers to quit the business, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Sunday.

The last pig import was a shipment of 220 hogs that arrived in Honolulu on Sept. 27, state records show.

The practice of shipping pigs to Hawaii arose decades ago to supplement the fresh “hot pork” supply.

Animal rights supporters touted the cessation of imports as a victory in a campaign they had waged for over a decade.

Laurelee Blanchard, founder and president of Maui animal refuge Leilani Farm Sanctuary, heralded the change as an end to a “filthy four-day nightmare journey” where pigs regularly died.

Hawaii Food Products Inc., a major pig importer, got out of the business late last year because of factors that included rising costs for feed, shipping and processing, company CEO Norman Oshiro said.

“It was many small factors here and there,” he said.

Oshiro said a slide in local pig farming put upward pressure on slaughterhouse fees, and that operating hours for processing imported hogs became less convenient.

Jack Beuttell, Kunoa Cattle Co. co-founder, said the practice of shipping live pigs has been declining for years because of imported chilled pork.

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