13 October 2000

RSPCAs warning

THE RSPCA has revealed that it warned the government about potential pig welfare problems at the start of the swine fever outbreak.

Replying to a letter from Devon pig producer Robert Persey, accusing it of "bowing to government pressures and ignoring its responsibilities", the charitys deputy head of farm animals department Julia Wrathall said: "Right at the start of the outbreak, the society wrote to the MAFF pointing out all the potential welfare problems likely to develop should pigs be held up on farms for long periods of time.

"We urged him to ensure that all the necessary testing of animals was undertaken with the greatest possible speed.