The English Pig Industry
HC 96, First Report of Session 2008-09 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence
- House of Commons - Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
In this report, 'The English Pig Industry (HC 96)', the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee finds that, although the pig industry is highly competitive and is well known for being cyclical, the last ten years have seen a steady decline in the scale and productivity of the English pig industry and an increase in the pig meat imported into the UK to satisfy consumer demand.
The lack of transparency in the supply chain leads farmers to form the view that they are not getting their fair share. UK pigs cost more to produce than their EU counterparts. The industry blames this on the effects of disease outbreaks, high feed prices, burdensome environmental regulations and the high cost of the introduction of new welfare standards of housing for pigs in 1999.
Pig producers are rightly proud of their high welfare standards but the Committee believes that they have not successfully promoted to the consumer the justification for the higher cost of English pig meat. Retailers and catering suppliers are responsible for ensuring that labelling of pig meat products is clear and unambiguous. Producers, animal welfare groups such as the RSPCA, and Government also have a role in making certain that consumers understand the difference between the standards of welfare in the various methods of pig production and ensuring that pig meat produced in the UK is of a high welfare standard.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) must continue to:
advise other Government departments and public bodies on the welfare standards of farm assurance schemes in order to encourage them to adopt a more innovative approach in public sector procurement of pig meat;
liaise closely with the industry on its Health and Welfare Council; and
fund research into the pig-specific diseases which have severely impacted on the industry in recent years.
|Format||Paperback||Published||13 Jan 2009|
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