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Ministers want new animal welfare supermarket labels

01 December 2006

UK - A label denoting animal welfare standards could soon be appearing on supermarket food, if Ministers get their way.

Animal Health Minister Ben Bradshaw is asking UK supermarkets to introduce a new animal welfare labelling system, ahead of plans for the EU-wide system currently under discussion.

The suggestion was unveiled in an ‘Animal Welfare Delivery Strategy’ document published for consultation by Defra on Tuesday. Ministers believe the labelling initiative would drive up animal welfare standards on UK farms.

The document sates that: “Where good welfare represents added value for consumers, products from animals raised according to high welfare standards should command a premium. These benefits must properly incentivise good welfare practices by producers, and rewards should be returned to them.”

The document also suggests the initiative would help UK farmers compete against imports produced to lower welfare standards.

A Defra spokesman suggested Ministers would like to see UK retailers adopt something along the lines of a Gold-Silver-Bronze labelling system. A bronze label would indicate that some animal welfare measures were in place above and beyond baseline standards set by law, with silver and gold representing progressively higher standards.

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Source: Farmers Guardian





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