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Turkey Welfare Label Denied by Austrian Health Department

09 December 2014

AUSTRIA – A comprehensive farm assurance scheme tipped to save domestic poultry producers has been knocked back by health officials.

The Department of Health last week rejected the industry’s ‘All in One' programme, a sector-wide attempt to distinguish higher welfare turkey products from cheaper imported alternatives.

Industry calls are mounting for clearer identification of origin, even on processed products, due to greater value in domestic turkey meat.

Hailed by the industry as “innovative and forward looking”, ‘All in One’ drives improvement in animal health, welfare and food safety, said the Agriculture Chamber.

This comes as a blow to an industry facing “extremely difficult conditions” in the market place, said Robert Weiser, chairman of the Austrian Poultry and Egg Association (ZAG).

Austrian turkey meat is more expensive to produce but not properly labelled, he explained.

“The ‘All in One’ programme has been shown to yield improvements in animal husbandry,” said the Agriculture Chamber’s Franz Stefan Hautzinger, who attended the recent negotiations.

“Now, domestic operations are forced to close, lowering domestic supplies and meaning we need to import more poultry from animals suffering more.”

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