VEGA News Item

Pigging Out on Confusion, Codes, and Porky Pies - 03/03/2010

The RSPCA is calling for a review of EU laws on pig production and welfare

1.  The RSPCA is calling for a review of EU laws on pig production and welfare. “We have EU laws governing the labelling of poultry meat and eggs, so why not pig meat?” asks the Society’s Kate Parkes. Most British supplies of pig-meat come from British farms or are brought in from countries such as Denmark, The Netherlands, and Poland; many of the animals are fed intensively on feeds grown in those countries or imported from North America. So the pigmeat in a “British” pie may derive from a mongrelly animal built from components grown in alien countries and with different attitudes to the animals’ welfare and contamination of the environment, particularly emissions of ammonia and other toxic gases, as well as accumulations of phosphates in the excreta (owing to limitations of the digestion in pigs and components of the unnatural diets they are fed with).

2.  Use of drugs, such as antibiotics is aggravating problems such as resistance; use of calming drugs (named, appropriately, Suicalm and Stresnil) to facilitate handling of the pigs, especially prior to slaughter, poses threats of residues of the original drugs and the metabolites. For a long time the British and Danish intensive farmers have made animal welfare and care of environments subjects of claims made for their outputs: the delicate matters of castration and boar-taint- and some other mutilations – are overlooked by consumers and Kate Parkes should be arousing these human consumers to a humane boycott of the ill-treated swine deserted by the RSPCA and left to tardy Euro-regulations that earn dismissal as a mixture of odds, balls, and porky pies.
3. Consumers say they do not currently have enough information to make informed decisions when buying pork and are confused by terms such as “outdoor bred” and “outdoor reared” and the conditions in which pigs are actually reared. “Until now these terms could mean different things depending on the item and where it was bought. The new code, which also covers country of origin and breed labelling, aims to clear up this confusion,” says Kate Parks. (The Grocer, 27/02/10).
4.  It is, after all, Lent, when Christians purport to exercise a restraint that observant Jews and Muslims practise year-in, year-out and in which we have combined other factors of dietary change into a Portfolio of Eating Plans that true animal welfarists and environmentalists can turn to on our website to lessen the cruelty in a practical and immediate way.

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