BRITISH PIG farmers are challenging caterers, food manufacturers and retailers to make a public commitment that they are not selling illegally-produced meat from farms that are “flouting” new European welfare legislation which outlaws the prolonged confinement of sows in “stalls”.
The National Pig Association (NPA) has set up a website “Wall-of-Fame-and-Shame” which lists companies that have pledged to source imported pork products only from farms that are operating legally. Bartlett Mitchell is the only foodservice company to have made the pledge so far.
However, letters have only recently been sent to over two dozen of the largest companies in the sector and the hope is that more will sign up.
The NPA estimates that some 40,000 illegal pigs an hour will enter the European food chain this month. It is therefore urging caterers to be “absolutely certain” that bacon, sausages, ham, pizzas and other processed pork products come from legal farms.
“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,” said NPA general manager Zoe Davies. “Shoppers must be told which British retailers and food companies they can trust not to take part in this trade.”
Most European Union countries have failed to comply with the European Union’s animal welfare directive which, from January this year, banned the prolonged confinement of sows in stalls. Individual sow stalls have been outlawed on British pig units for 14 years.