HC Deb 23 July 1998 vol 316 c695W
Mr. David Davis

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will introduce a requirement for(a) pork and (b) bacon sold in the United Kingdom to be provided on a basis that meets British welfare regulations to ensure that United Kingdom animal welfare measures are not circumvented by import of meat from stall and tether units in Europe. [50699]

Mr. Morley

[holding answer 16 July 1998]: Single market rules do not allow the banning of imports of pork, bacon or other animal products on the ground that they have been produced to lower welfare standards than apply in the United Kingdom.

We have made clear our intention to work to raise EU minimum welfare requirements for pigs. That is why we have urged the Commission to follow up the report published last year by its own Scientific Veterinary Committee and bring forward early proposals to improve the standards laid down in EU law.

I also consider it important for retailers, wherever practical, to reassure their customers by applying high welfare standards to their purchases regardless of origin, as I understand some already do.

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