Degrees of compliance
As the British pig industry campaign continued to focus on promoting its traceability credentials in the wake of Horsegate, actress Joanna Lumley recently took up the cudgels in highlighting widespread non-compliance with the new EU pig welfare regulations across Europe. The view that Denmark is fully compliant has been clearly communicated by the industry and hopefully the EU authorities will take belated notice of the overwhelming weight of evidence.
Promotional activity undertaken by the British industry recently has had a strong focus on traceability and that British pork comes from a ‘trusted source’ - 'Give a fork about your pork' and 'Trust the Tractor'- aiming to exploit anxiety on the part of both trade and consumers in the wake of the ‘Horsegate’ scandal earlier this year.
Actress, Joanna Lumley, a long-time patron of Compassion in World Farming, fronted a press conference at the European Parliament in late September, to highlight high levels of non-compliance with the new EU pig welfare regulations in many Member States. The CIWF campaign exposed ‘welfare abuses’ in Spain, Italy and Ireland earlier this year and the organisation recently produced a film 'Two thousand million pigs', recalling the estimated number of pigs raised in ‘illegal’ systems during the last 10 years across the EU.
The CIWF campaign received public support from a number of British MEPs – East Midlands (Emma McClarkin), East Anglia (Vicky Ford) and Gloucestershire (Julie Girling).
In August, the Danish Pig Research Centre said that evidence from independent audits and signed affidavits by producers provided conclusive evidence that Denmark was fully compliant with the new EU rules.
It is understood that the Danish government recently reported this and evidence from their own programme of audits to the EU Commission, corroborating the view that Denmark was in compliance. It is to be hoped that the latter will accept this overwhelming evidence and remove Denmark from their official list of ‘non-compliant’ Member States. The inclusion of Denmark on this list was based on the evidence of telephone research carried out among a sample of producers, in November 2012, nearly two months prior to the 1st January deadline, where a small number indicated that the refurbishment work already undertaken on their farms may not be completed by the year end.