RETAILERS SHOULD make sure that the same welfare standards apply to imported meat as products produced in the UK, according to the Farm Animal Welfare Council.
The council, which advises government on welfare issues, has published a report which says that consumers are increasingly concerned about the welfare standards experienced by farm animals.
But it says that because shoppers can’t check when they buy meat that certain conditions have been met, it is important that the assurance framework is robust and consistent.
Prof Christopher Wathes, chairman of FAWC, said the recommendations made in the report were directed at all the players in the food supply chain.
“FAWC believes that, if it is to be meaningful, the assurance process needs to embrace the treatment of farm animals throughout their life from birth to slaughter and extend to all livestock products, whether fresh or processed.
“We also believe that the welfare requirements applied to food produced at home should equally apply to imported livestock products.”