Pigmeat ad row rumbles on

By Peter Crichton

THE row over the MLCs hard-hitting, 4.6 million welfare campaign to promote the British Quality Meat Mark rumbles on.

Their latest advertisements warn that non-UK standard pigmeat may come from cruel systems and be fed on recycled meat remnants.

This has lead to a storm of protests from other EU producer countries, and Dutch and Danish exporters are reported to be looking at action via the EU courts to challenge the MLC.

Also on the legal front, the dates for the BPISG Judicial Review have now been announced.

Meryl Ward – who is spearheading the action against the Minister of Agriculture to compensate pig producers for the BSE “tax” – has announced that this review will take place next month.

The dates set down are 7 and 8 June, and the hearing takes place in the High Court in the Strand.

Following claimed near-100% backing from the pig industry, she is asking for a large turnout of producers on both days to press home their multi-million pound claim.

Although Court space is limited, pig farmers are expected to turn out in large numbers in London to see what proportion of their claim may be allowable, compared with the reported 1281bn paid to cattle farmers.

Meryl Ward has also reported a shift in support from the NPA, which had initially been described as lukewarm.

However, with signs of strong backing for the campaign from throughout the industry, the NPA seems to be adding its weight to this action and, like all concerned, will eagerly await the Judicial Review result, expected within a few weeks.

The costs of the legal process are estimated to be close to 100,000, and are being funded by a voluntary 40p/pig slaughter levy.

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