British pig farmers betrayedby retailers, say vets - Farmers Weekly

Subscribe and save

Farmers Weekly from £129
Saving £36
In print AND tablet

SUBSCRIBE NOW

sub_ad_img

British pig farmers betrayedby retailers, say vets

24 July 1998
British pig farmers betrayed
by retailers, say vets

BRITISH pig farmers are being betrayed and consumers deceived by the buying policies of “cynical multiple retailers”, claims the Pig Veterinary Society.

The society – which has a reputation for keeping its snout out of commercial arguments – has accused retailers of ignoring welfare, traceability and food safety standards in a quest for cheaper meat and fatter profits.

    Read more on:
  • News

British pig farmers betrayedby retailers, say vets

24 July 1998
British pig farmers betrayed
by retailers, say vets

By FWi staff

BRITISH pig farmers are being betrayed and consumers deceived by the buying policies of “cynical multiple retailers”, claims the Pig Veterinary Society.

The society – which has a reputation for keeping its snout out of commercial arguments – has accused retailers of ignoring welfare, traceability and food safety standards in a quest for cheaper meat and fatter profits.

Increasing quantities of cheap pigmeat are being bought in from Europe, which are then labelled and sold as “packaged in Britain”, without conforming to conditions which have been enforced on British farms, the society claims.

The Society is concerned that imported pigmeat:

  • Is derived from pigs that have been treated with medicines that cannot be used legally in the UK;
  • May be produced from diets containing meat and bonemeal, which is still widely used in Europe, though banned in the UK. British pigs are not fed on the remains of other pigs and farm animals;
  • Comes from piglets castrated early in life without an anaesthetic, a barbaric procedure, banned in the UK;
  • Is produced under husbandry systems that would not be legal in the UK. In many cases, retailers have advanced the legal ban on stall and tether housing from 1 January, 1999, already refusing to accept British products produced under these systems. There are no plans to abolish stalls in the rest of Europe;
  • Is produced without the rigorous quality assurance standards and auditing that has been imposed by the same retailers on UK pig farmers.
“Through extreme pressure, retailers have imposed conditions affecting food safety and the well-being of the animals on the farm, which have forced British pig farmers into more expensive production systems.

“Retailers should not then drop all principles, buy in cheap, imported products and try to deceive the public by clever labelling,” Gareth Williams, society president, said.

The BVS points out that the national pig price stood at 87.74p per kg deadweight earlier this month, compared with 111.38p in 1997, 138.19p in 1996 and 119.86p in 1995.

The Meat and Livestock Commission puts the break-even point for British producers at plus/minus 96p per kg deadweight.

    Read more on:
  • News
blog comments powered by Disqus