Pig industry threatens with warning stickers

UK - British Pig Industry Support Group has said it will plaster warning stickers over the products and shelves of supermarkets that walk away from United Kingdom animal welfare standards.
calendar icon 23 March 2006
clock icon 4 minute read

National Pig Association

NPA is active on members' behalf in Brussels & Whitehall, and with processors, supermarkets & caterers - fighting for the growth and pros-perity of the UK pig industry.

The stickers say “WARNING DOES THIS IMPORTED PORK MEET UNITED KINGDOM PRODUCTION STANDARDS?” BPISG says it will be supplying the stickers to pig producers throughout England, to the allied trades, and to members of the public who support their cause.

They will be used on packs of imported pork, most of which does not meet United Kingdom standards. BPISG, which regularly blockaded Tesco and Asda retail distribution depots in 1999, said in a press release that it had re-formed to meet the new threat to the British pig industry posed by supermarkets.

The move follows growing evidence that supermarkets are significantly increasing the amount of pork, bacon, ham and sausages they sell that are produced in ways that would be illegal in this country.

According to BPISG, the supermarket leading the stampede away from British welfare standards is Tesco. “All the feedback we are getting indicates Tesco has a particularly brash and confrontational team of meat buyers at present,” said a BPISG spokesman tonight.

“We believe these people do not care if the British pig industry fails, as that will leave them free to import even more cheap pork from countries where most pigs are produced in conditions that would be illegal here.”

BPISG is careful to exclude Waitrose, M&S and Budgens from its criticisms, as these retailers continue to demonstrate their commitment to British quality standards.

BPISG says in its press release that it has noticed a marked increase in intimidatory techniques adopted by the supermarkets when dealing with the meat processor suppliers.

It accuses the young buying teams of the major retailers of being out of control and acting in a way that would horrify shareholders.

  • Instead of being kept in narrow stalls without enough room to turn round, British sows are loose-housed in straw. In Britain pigs are not castrated without anaesthetic, nor are they fed on swill or animal oils.

  • Surveys by the British Pig Executive have demonstrated that a substantial majority of supermarket customers are opposed to supermarkets stocking food that falls below United Kingdom standards.

The letter below is typical of the imtimidatory methods being used by Tesco. The letter relates to 2 growers who have decided they no longer wish to supply Tesco. In response Tesco have written to the packer threatening them with the loss of their Tesco business should products from either of these two growers get into the Tesco supply.

BPISG accuses supermarkets of intimidatory methods such as this.

Source: the National Pig Association - 23rd March 2006
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