The Farm Animal Welfare Council has called for clearer labelling of pigmeat, which will allow consumers to make more informed decisions on welfare standards.

In a new report, FAWC suggests that UK welfare standards should be extended to imports and product labelling should include information on animal welfare, production methods, biosecurity and the best-before dates. 

Under existing EU rules pigmeat produced in the EU can be described as the product of the country in which final processing took place.

This could mislead consumers suggesting that imported ham, processed in the UK, was from animals born and reared to UK welfare standards.

Production standards for eggs are included on packaging by EU law. FAWC wants this system to be extended to other farm animals, to help reinforce EU animal welfare objectives.

With the exception of Sweden the UK has the most welfare friendly pig production system in the EU.

Over 35% of UK pigs are now bred on outdoor units following the stall and tether ban introduced ten years ago.