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Report: The Cost of Commitment to Pig Welfare

by 5m Editor
16 July 2008, at 10:15am

SCOTLAND - Scotland’s pigs are raised to world leading standards, but there’s a cost that goes with this commitment, a new independent report has confirmed.

The new report, published by the Farm Animal Welfare Group (FWAG) says that the majority of pigs in Scotland are kept to a higher welfare standard than elsewhere in the EU and other countries.

The report highlights the further animal welfare steps taken by the UK industry to go beyond the minimum standards ofpig welfare set out by EU directives.

In particular it draws attention to the UK ban on stalls for non-lactating sows and the fact that the UK has the world’s only large scale farm assurance schemes focused on animal welfare.

The Quality Meat Scotland pig assurance scheme offers full chain assurance for 99% of the pigs raised in Scotland, and only pork marked with the Specially Selected Pork label offers this promise.

Having the most rigorous inspection of a producers’ compliance with animal welfare legislation and a bigger focus on good practice than any other country comes with a cost attached.


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"The Scottish pig industry can be justifiably proud of its support of the development of a world leading system that promotes animal welfare and ensures quality and safety."
Andy McGowan, Industry Development Manager for Quality Meat Scotland

The costs for UK producers are more than 12% higher than the EU average and more than 60% higher than North and South American exporting countries.

Andy McGowan, Industry Development Manager for Quality Meat Scotland, said: “The Scottish pig industry can be justifiably proud of its support of the development of a world leading system that promotes animal welfare and ensures quality and safety.

“This report shows that there’s not a level playing field when it comes to the quality and cost of production systems within the EU, and it’s a completely different ball game in other parts of the world.

“The market needs to reward this investment by the Scottish industry by demanding the same rigorous standards from imported product that consumers rightly expect and get from domestic pork.

“A healthy, high quality pig industry is required to produce healthy, high quality pigs.“

The FAWC report was prepared for the Scottish Government as part of the pig industry task force. Quality Meat Scotland is a member of the task force, which is looking at ways of supporting the Scottish industry while it is facing large increases in feed, labour and energy.

Further Reading

- You can view the Farm Animal Welfare Group (FWAG) report by clicking here.

5m Editor