BEN Bradshaw MP has shown his support for a campaign by UK pig farmers to highlight how cheap, low welfare imports are deceiving consumers and damaging the UK pig industry.

The MP signed the giant “Trojan” pig that spent an evening in the gardens of Westminster Abbey as part of the national campaign.

In 2005 over 850,000 tonnes of pigmeat was imported into the UK and 70% of this would have been illegal to produce in the UK due to higher welfare standards. However imports remain legal due to EU law.

Much of this pork is unclearly labelled, which farmers fear could lead consumers to believe it was produced from UK pigs. In some stores less than half of imported pork, bacon, ham and sausages is clearly labelled and many well known brands fail to include origin labelling on their packaging.1 Research indicates that British consumers support pig farmers. Over 90% of consumers believe that all pork should be produced to UK welfare standards and that it should not be imported if it does not meet UK standards.2 Barney Kay of the National Pig Association, which is running the campaign said: said, “Just as the Greeks used a giant wooden horse to sneak soldiers into Troy, cheap, low welfare imports are being slipped in under the noses of unwitting British shoppers due to unclear labels.

“We hope our Trojan Pig will raise awareness of the issue and encourage shoppers to look for the Quality Standard Mark when buying pork, bacon, sausages and ham. This guarantees the highest standards of food safety and animal welfare.

Ben Bradshaw MP said: “This is not an anti-import campaign. This is about ensuring a level playing field for British pig farmers. Unclear labelling gives importers an advantage, deceives British consumers and damages our own pig industry.”

The Trojan Pig is currently visiting towns and cities across the UK to raise awareness of the issue of cheap, lower welfare imports.

Full story from Mid Devon Star

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