FEARS are growing low welfare pig meat could be pouring
into the country from abroad to meet the Christmas demand.
The festive season always sees a peak in the sales of
gammon so the British Pig Executive (BPEX) and the National
Pig Association (NPA) are launching a special 'GammonWatch'
The programme is an extension of the existing PorkWatch
which regularly checks the quantity of British pork and
bacon on supermarket shelves.
NPA Chairman Stewart Houston said: "We would ask
all retailers to make sure their labelling conforms to
Food Standards Agency (FSA) guidelines regarding country
"Many people buy gammon as a one-off at Christmas-time
and they need to look carefully at labelling. They should
look for the Quality Standard Mark to ensure the meat comes
from high-welfare production systems.
"A report by BPEX showed two-thirds of the pig meat
imported into the UK was produced under condition which
would be illegal here. This is unfair to UK pig farmers.
"We will be conducting a special 'GammonWatch' throughout
December to monitor product labelling and we shall publish
the results in the New Year."
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