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Higher Standards in UK Industry

by 5m Editor
14 July 2008, at 11:52am

UK - The majority of pigs in the UK, including those in Scotland, are kept to a higher welfare standard than elsewhere in the EU and other countries, these are the conclusions of a report by the Farm Animal Welfare Council.

In a letter to the Scottish agriculture minister Richard Lockhead FAWC said that the higher standard arises from differences in legislation and voluntary measures but both will have increased the costs of pig production in the U.K. relative to those in exporting countries.

The letter follows a meeting between the minister and FAWC.

"while it is true that importers of pig meat into the UK could demand in their purchasing specifications that suppliers meet UK standards, this can only be voluntary and whether importers insist on such a requirement will be determined, in part, by market forces," FAWC Chairman, Professor Christopher Wathes said in the letter.

"Other members of the food chain, particularly retailers, can play a major role by offering products of different welfare standards and origin, thereby catering for consumer choice.

"However, if pig meat is not labelled according to its welfare provenance, then concerned consumers will not be able to exercise their choice and may, unwittingly, purchase products that do not meet their requirements.

"The arguments for welfare labelling of animal products were made in the FAWC report (June 2006) and the possible introduction of a European labelling scheme is under active consideration by the Commission at present."

Further Reading

- You can view the full letter by clicking here.

5m Editor