Uproar in UK over pig remains for poultry

13-05-2008 | |
Uproar in UK over pig remains for poultry

Pig and poultry farmers are not sure if they want an opportunity to cut costs which could be coming their way, reports Yorkshire Post.

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. This, however, has caused uproar. The practice of using pig remains in
chicken feed was banned in Europe after the BSE crisis 10 years ago.

Enormous reaction
It has been reported that when the
BBC’s Farming Today programme reported on one of the possibilities which are now
up for discussion again – feeding pig leftovers to hens – the reaction was
enormous.

Reportedly, moderate vegetarians said they could not eat eggs
from birds fed on meat. Additionally, a spokesperson for 2 mln Muslims in
Britain (and 25 million in western Europe) said they could not eat the eggs or
the flesh of any bird fed on animal protein of any kind – and it would only make
it worse if it was pork.

Some halal butchers once had special sources for
suitable chickens and eggs, up until BSE exposed modern farming practices,
reports the Yorkshire Post. Now they are good customers for mainstream farm
production. However, a change back to the old ways would put them on the spot.
And they are not the only customers who might be lost. Most people were
horrified to find out about the recycling of slaughterhouse waste to farms
before BSE. And a lot of hostility to the practice remains.

More
lost than gained
A Yorkshire pig farmer commented this week: “Pigs
are omnivores. If you buy pig-meat from outside the EU, it has almost certainly
been fed with meat. And it probably makes scientific and economic sense for us
to do it. But the danger is that we would lose more than we gained, because of
the public reaction.” A poultry farmer said much the same about
hens.

The jury is still out
According to the National
Farmers Union, “We want a level playing field for our members to operate
efficiently and competitively. However, the jury is still out. We definitely
don’t want to turn out products consumers don’t want.”

The BBC said new
rules could apply by the end of this year but that looks unlikely. The EC’s
Standing Committee on the Food Chain & Animal Health will not consider the
issue until it is satisfied that the feed industry has foolproof tests.

The RSPCA’s food certification arm, Freedom Food, said it would not
approve meat-fed meat. Additionally, the Soil Association said meat-fed meat
would not be considered organic.

Click here to subscribe for the free animal feed
newsletter

Correspondents



2/3 articles remaining | Register to continue reading.