07 January 1999
Law could mean animal welfare ‘disaster’

MORE animal welfare legislation could lead to a “welfare disaster”, according to Dr Martin Potter, head of the farm animals department of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).

Reforming farming through legislation can be a “painfully slow process” which may not necessarily result in good welfare, Dr Potter told delegates to the Oxford Farming Conferenc.

Group housing stems for sows or veal calves might offer only a marginal improvement over confinement systems, he said, adding that compliance with the law did not guarantee good welfare.

Mr Potter also said that farm assurance schemes could help develop markets.

But he warned that British farmers would benefits from farm assurance only if the public was encouraged to buy British and major retailers implemented assurance standards for overseas suppliers.

  • The Scotsman 07/01/99 page 28