06 July 1998
British pigmeat campaign focuses on `happy animals
Animal welfare activist group Animal Aid condemned government plans to boast about the lifestyle of homegrown pigs as part of a “buy British ” campaign for pork, ham and bacon.
Lord Donoughue, food minister, said the campaign would highlight animal welfare and taste in a bid to combat the success of European Union partners, particularly Denmark and the Netherlands, in seizing nearly half the UK bacon and ham market.
Animal Aid said it would be a gross deception to claim that British pig production was welfare friendly. It claims that unnatural reproduction, intensive fattening of young pigs and overcrowding, encourage deformities, bullying and stress.
The government countered that narrow stalls and tethers for female breeding pigs would soon be banned in Britain and that 30% of pigs were already raised outdoors. It said they were not fed meat and bonemeal from other animals and were only fed antibiotics “in carefully controlled amounts”.