Outrage on European chickens eating pigs

07-05-2008 | |
Outrage on European chickens eating pigs

Many are outraged as the EU is preparing to allow the remains of pig carcasses to be used in poultry feed, which would save UK farmers millions of pounds as cereal prices soar.

The practice of using pig remains in chicken feed was banned in Europe after
the BSE crisis 10 years ago. This proposal, according to the Observer, has
outraged animal rights campaigners, and Muslim organisations among other groups,
who claim the move would put families at risk, offend religious sensibilities
and lead to a major consumer backlash.

“There are two million Muslims in
Britain and 25 million in Europe and this move would be a disaster for every one
of them,” said Dr Abdel Majid-Katme of the Islamic Medical Association, adding
that this is a sinful idea.

Offended consumers
The RSPCA voiced
its concerns about the health risks involved. Additionally, agriculture experts
believe many consumers would be offended by the idea of a return to the use of
animal remains in farm feeds. “I think there will be such a backlash from
consumers that the idea would have to be dropped,” said Tom Acamovic, a
nutrition expert based at the Scottish Agricultural College.

The
Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it would
back the move only if proper safety tests were introduced.

“We understand
the European Commission will be submitting a proposal later this year,” said a
spokesman. “We would only support it if we were fully satisfied that appropriate
and effective testing had taken place to control the use of such proteins in
poultry feed.”

The proposal, however, is backed by a former risk
assessment adviser for the Food Standards Agency, Philip Comer of DNV
Consulting. “The by-products of slaughter are a very valuable source of
protein,” he said. “We should not be wasting it.”

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