UK - The British government has called on governments across Europe to come in line with the animal welfare practices of the UK.
Speaking at the David Black UK pig industry awards at the House of Lords in London on Wednesday (4 November) the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Liz Truss, announced that she has written to other countries across Europe calling on them to adopt equal standards of animal welfare to those in the UK.
“Our animal welfare standards are world leading,” Mrs Truss said.
“There must be a level playing field.”
Mrs Truss praised the British pig sector for the way it had developed and for being proactive in opening up new markets around the world.
She singled out the integrated pig company Cranswick as an example of a company that had opened up new markets for new products particularly in China.
And she added that she will be part of a delegation to China next week to meet the export authorities to explore new areas for export for the pig industry.
Mrs Truss also announced the launch of an initiative with food industry leaders and celebrities to champion produce and shift perceptions through leading trade missions, food festivals and sharing their knowledge and ideas.
The Great British Food Campaign was launched this week to help share ideas to inspire people to take pride in British food and drink.
“Never has British food been more exciting,” said Mrs Truss.
“We have some of the leading businesses going out winning business across the world.”
Mrs Truss also called for more young people to be encouraged into the food industry and she said the pig sector had a role to play in increasing the number if apprenticeships in the food and farming industry.
She added that while the food and farming sector has been facing challenges of low prices and other difficulties across the sector, she recognised the work that was being done to develop a sustainable industry that is more competitive.
Chairman of AHDB Pork, Meryl Ward, said that the industry strategy of going for growth was working with a 28 per cent export market for British pork.
However, she called for government support to help grow exports further.
“The dark cloud on the horizon is the threat of disease,” she said.
She said that exotic disease such as African swine fever already in Europe threatening export markets need to be addressed and strategies have to be developed to meet the threat of PED.
Mrs Ward also called for a balanced approach to research such as the report from the World Health Organisation’s IARC report linking processed and red meat consumption with a risk of cancer.
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