Co-op bolsters welfare credentials by committing to 100 percent outdoor bred pork

Mar 19, 2018

The Co-op has announced it will sell all of its own-brand fresh pork from 100 percent outdoor pigs reared on RSPCA Assured farms. From July, the retailer will sell all of its own-brand fresh pork, bacon, sausage, gammon and ham, from outdoor reared pigs in a bid to bolster the retailer’s animal welfare credentials. It will mean that all pigs within its producer group will be born outdoors and raised in well-ventilated, spacious straw barns to strict RSPCA welfare standards on farms across the UK. By partnering with Tulip Ltd, the UK’s largest high-welfare pig producer, the Co-op has been able to establish an RSCPA Assured, outdoor-bred pork supply chain offering traceability from farm to fork in which pigs are able to express more natural behaviours. Defra Farming Minister George Eustice said there is “growing consumer interest” in food provenance and animal welfare. The announcement comes as the RSPCA suggests specially targeted farm subsidies which could improve animal welfare to meet the ambitions for the highest quality food standards post-Brexit.... ...

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Gove outlines plans for farming post-Brexit

Jan 8, 2018

Defra secretary Michael Gove has shed light on future plans for the farming industry post-Brexit, in a speech at the Oxford Farming Conference. Mr Gove said he wants to drive change in four specific areas: creating a “coherent” policy on food; giving farmers the time and tools to adapt to the future; implementing a new method for providing financial support to farmers; and developing a sustainable future for the countryside. The secretary of state also proposed to invest more in technology, including super-fast broadband, reliable 5G coverage and sensor technology that can tell where, when and how livestock should be fed, housed and bred to maximise yield, health and welfare. The UK will formally leave the EU in March 2019, but the government expects to agree a transition period of a further two years. Mr Gove’s comments come ahead of the government’s Command Paper, which is due to be published this spring. Trade negotiations As trade negotiations are about to get underway, Mr Gove said Defra “is preparing for every... ...

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CVO – work to be done on antimicrobial use

Nov 13, 2017

Latest UK Veterinary Antibiotic Resistance and Sales Surveillance figures show antimicrobial use in food-producing animals has decreased. UK CVO Nigel Gibbens has urged small animal practitioners to take “a hard look” at the way they prescribe antimicrobials, following the publication of the latest UK Veterinary Antibiotic Resistance and Sales Surveillance (VARSS) figures that show antimicrobial use in food-producing animals has fallen by more than 27% in the last two years – the lowest level since records began. A drop in usage from 62mg/kg in 2014 to 45mg/kg in 2016 means a Government target of 50mg/kg – set following recommendations in the 2016 O’Neill Review on antimicrobial resistance – has been hit two years ahead of schedule. While Prof Gibbens welcomed the reduction in usage of antimicrobials in the farming sector, he was quick to point out more work needed to be done, particularly in the companion and equine sector, where he said figures were “not great”. “We won’t forget we need to deal with that,” Prof Gibbens commented at the Responsible Use... ...

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