26 May 2000
Controversial pig advert gets go-ahead

By Alistair Driver

A CONTROVERSIAL advertisement highlighting that overseas farmers feed animal remains to their pigs will appear in British newspapers within days.

The advertisement will appear in newspapers on Tuesday (30 May) – despite strong objections from overseas farmers, British processors and supermarkets.

It features a sow suckling her new-born piglets accompanied by the slogan: “After shes fed them, she could be fed to them.”

The advertisement aims to explain that foreign pigs may be fed on animal remains although the practice was banned in Britain after the BSE crisis.

The campaign, part of a 4.6 million drive to promote British pigmeat, is jointly funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Meat and Livestock Commission.

But many people within the processing and retail side of the industry are worried that it could drive down sales of all pigmeat, regardless of origin.

However, agriculture minister Nick Brown dismissed criticism of the campaign, saying: “The adverts are tough, very focused and absolutely right.”

He added: “It is worth reminding people just how pigs are kept and what the recycling of meat actually means.”

Farmers claim that Asda has threatened to remove the British Meat Quality Standard Mark from British pork in its stores unless the advert is withdrawn.

About 50 pig producers have picketed Asda distribution depots in the north and north-east of England in protest at the supermarkets alleged threat.