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Pig production standards debate

As the British pig industry accused welfare advocates of needlessly obstructing the development of new pig production units, another piece of ‘covert’ filming revealed welfare abuses on pig farms in East Anglia.

The NPA have attacked organisations such as the Soil Association and Compassion in World Farming for their misguided opposition to many planning applications to build new ‘state of the art’ pig production units.

They have accused ‘pressure groups’ of using ‘misinformation’ to obstruct planning applications for new pig housing schemes, based on improved welfare and utilising the latest environmental technology. Their high profile campaigning will deter much needed new investment in the infrastructure of the British pig industry. The Soil Association’s ‘Not in my Banger’ campaign has attracted a lot of media coverage in recent months and CIWF have maintained their campaign against the ‘factory farming’ of pigs.

Assured Food Standards mounted a strong defence of the Red Tractor standards, in response to a feature on BBC Countryfile, which said that the scheme compared unfavourably with other such as Freedom Food, as it was limited to demonstrating that their member farms complied with the minimum requirements of welfare legislation. They also released the results of recent consumer research, showing that ‘6 out of 10 UK primary shoppers’ supported the Red Tractor quality mark.

The Sunday Mirror published photographs from filming taken by a representative of animal rights group, Animal Equality, showing appalling welfare abuses on farms managed by the Eat Anglian Pig Co. (suppliers to Cranswick plc).