01 September 1998
Welfare groups call for pork labelling

By FWi staff

ANIMAL welfare campaigners have joined farmers in calling on supermarkets to ensure that imported pigmeat is produced to strict standards.

The RSPCA today urged retailers to buy imported pigmeat only if the overseas supplier meets the UKs minimum impending animal welfare requirements. It has also called for a clearer in-store labelling policy, so that consumers can choose between imported and home-produced pork and bacon.

The welfare group Compassion in World Farming also stepped up its campaign to persuade supermarkets to introduce country-of-origin labelling. The organisation will tomorrow publish a league table of supermarkets which sell imported pork produced under poor welfare conditions.

UK pig producers claim supermarkets have switched to cheap imported pork produced from pigs tethered in cramped stalls.

Because some imported pigmeat is unlabelled, consumers are often buying pork and bacon produced in conditions which would be illegal in this country, said Stewart Houston, chairman of the newly-formed British Pig Industry Support Group.