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CIWF Back Higher Welfare to Save British Pig Producers

by 5m Editor
6 March 2008, at 10:55am

UK - Compassion in World Farming has called on British pig producers to see free-range and higher welfare as the way to save their British bacon.

The campaigning charity joined pig farmers on their recent protest march to the House of Commons in London this week.

"Lets pay a fair price for a fair product and make sure that our pig industry is one we can be proud of with better welfare systems and a fair deal for farmers," said Phil Brooke, Welfare Development Manager for Compassion In World Farming.

CIWF said that British pigs are already experiencing better welfare than much of imported products, thanks to the UK ban on sow stalls, but there is still room for improvement, particularly the provision of straw, a reduction in tail-docking and stopping the use of farrowing crate.

Mr Brooke added: "Free range and higher welfare indoor pig production has much higher potential, both for good welfare and for good business. British standards for pig welfare are higher and British farmers need the help of consumers and retailers so they can move further towards truly high standards.

"There has been a big consumer move away from standard factory farmed produce in the wake of national media coverage of farm animal welfare. Recent YouGov research showed that 78 per cent of the public would pay more for their pork if it helped farmers.

"Some commentators have wrongly blamed the UK’s higher welfare standards for driving up the cost of pig production. However, the rising costs are primarily down to the rising price of wheat. The effect of the ban on sow stalls was marginal in terms of costs and gave British pig farmers a clear selling point over competitors still using this cruel system." CIWF said that when buying pork, consumers should not only look for British, but for 'outdoor-reared' and 'out door-bred' and RSPCA Freedom Food. Free-range and organic pigs are also kept to higher welfare standards.

5m Editor