Danes to hit back over pig welfare

5 January 2000

Danes to hit back over pig welfare

By FWi Staff

DANISH pig producers are threatening to retaliate unless British farmers stop claiming that imported foreign pigmeat is frequently produced to poor standards.

Danish producers have become increasingly exasperated at accusations about safety and animal welfare made by British farmers in recent months.

British farmers have claimed that imported pigmeat often comes from pigs reared in cramped stall-and-tether systems, which are banned in the UK.

But delegates at the Oxford Farming Conference will be told that the British accusations are misleading, and that Danish patience is running out.

Anne Brigitte Lundholt, managing director of Danske Slagerier, which represents Danish pig farmers, said her organisations members could retaliate.

“Weve resisted the temptation to enter into a war of words, but our patience is not exhaustible,” she said before her conference speech on Wednesday (5 January).

Danish farmers have moved ahead of their European counterparts in many key areas of animal husbandry, Ms Lundholt will tell the Oxford conference.

Unlike Britain, Denmark has banned antibiotic growth promoters in all pigs, she will say. It also has tighter controls on salmonella and veterinary medicines.

New laws due to be passed in Denmark will mean Danish pig production will be more welfare-friendly than in the majority of European countries.

“I have every sympathy with the British pig farmers and recognise their grievances,” said Ms Lundholt.

“But they must understand that farmers across Europe also have to bear the costs of legislation unilaterally imposed by national government.”

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