§ Mr. Laurence Robertson
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food from which countries the UK imports pig meat and pig meat products; what steps he has taken to ensure that the standards of welfare and traceability are comparable to those in the UK; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Quin
[holding answer 26 October 1999]: The major overseas suppliers of pigmeat and pigmeat products to the UK market are Denmark, the Netherlands, the Irish Republic, Germany and France. While we have no legal authority to impose British standards of welfare and traceability on those suppliers, my right hon. Friend the Minister will be meeting a number of retail groups to assess progress in their commitment given to him that all their own label fresh pork and certain processed products such as bacon would come from stall and tether and MBM free production systems.
Also, as part of the strategy to assist the pig production sector, a verification officer has been appointed. His remit is to work with industry bodies to identify cases where product is being sold at retail or catering level which misleads the consumer into believing it contains pork of British origin when in fact it is imported.