Pig body takes action on pork pledge

British pig farmers are calling on manufacturers, retailers and caters to publicly pledge that they are not selling illegally produced pork.

The National Pig Association (NPA) has set up a ‘Wall-of-Fame-and-Shame’ website, which will list companies that have taken a pledge that all imported pork they supply has been produced in compliance with new European welfare rules banning sow stalls. It will also name companies that have not yet signed the pledge.

So far, no major retailers have signed the pledge, with the list limited to smaller retailers and processors, including Moss Valley Fine Meats, Primrose Herd Premium Cornish Pork, Anna’s Happy Trotters, Bartlett Mitchell and Uncle Henry’s.

The NPA said that data suggested that most European Union countries had failed to comly with the ban, with around 40,000 pigs an hour being delivered to processing plants in the EU from farms that were operating illegally.

NPA general manager Dr Zoe Davies said: “As Britain imports around 60% of its processed pork, it is inevitable that many consumers are unwittingly supporting this unacceptable European trade in illegally-farmed pigs.

“Shoppers must be told which British retailers and food companies they can trust not to take part in this trade.”

Yorkshire pig farmer John Rowbottom, a member of NPA’s policy-making Producer Group, added: “If Brussels cannot police its own rules, then British pig farmers will have to do the job for them. British consumers are being sold pork products from Continental farms that are operating illegally.

“It’s a gross breach of animal welfare, it is unfair on consumers and it is unfair on British farmers, because it distorts fair trade.”

The NPA has warned all companies selling imported pork and pork products to check their sources of supply very carefully and ensure “the bacon, sausages, ham, pizzas and other processed pork they sell do not come from farms that are flouting European animal welfare law”.


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