27 November 1998
Brown denies threat to Christmas turkeys
By FWi staff
REPORTS that traditional Christmas turkeys are about to be banned are nothing more than “unfounded rumours”, the Government said today (Friday).
A story in The Times last week claimed that European Union legislation meant farmers would no longer be able to sell turkeys with giblets intact.
As a result, the newspaper warned that the Ministry of Agriculture was about to ban traditional farm-fresh Christmas turkeys.
But agriculture minister Nick Brown claimed this afternoon that the story was unsubstantiated.
“Farm-fresh turkeys can still be produced from on-farm slaughterhouses in the traditional way,” he said.
European rules mean that turkeys must usually be disembowelled in licensed slaughterhouses, as they are in the rest of the European Union.
But farmers killing fewer than 10,000 birds a year are exempt from the ruling.
Farm-fresh turkeys are specially bred in free-range conditions with high-quality natural foodstuffs.