The last shipment of live pigs from the US mainland—at least for the foreseeable future—has docked in Hawaii. For decades, pigs have been subjected to an arduous week-long journey by truck and ship to meet demand on the Hawaiian Islands for fresh “hot pork.” At one time, most of the pigs shipped to Hawaii originated from farms 4,000 miles away in Canada. Sickness and death on these trips were not uncommon; in one incident, 83 of approximately 200 pigs died due to dehydration.
Animal Rights Hawaii waged a 15-year campaign to stop the trade. They achieved notable success along the way, including an end to the sale of pork from imported animals by three Hawaii supermarket chains and the removal of the claim “Island Produced Pork” from retail products derived from mainland pigs. Last year, importers of the pigs stated that the business was no longer profitable.