All Meat To Be COOL

UK - Compassion in World Farming has welcomed new legislation that will make it compulsory to label the country of origin for all fresh pork, lamb and poultry meat.
calendar icon 29 June 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

A separate piece of legislation for labelling beef was already introduced during the BSE crisis in the 1990s.

The campaigning charity is hoping the labelling will be more in-depth in the future, to help consumers identify welfare issues for the animals reared for their meat. For example, shoppers are unwittingly buying chickens that have been intensively reared – clear labelling can prevent this.

Compassion in World Farming and its supporters have been lobbying the Government for some years for this regulation to be introduced. However this new legislation will only make it compulsory for the origin of the meat to be labelled. Compassion is pushing for labelling that will identify not only the animal’s place of birth but also where it was reared and slaughtered.

Detailed labelling would enable consumers to identify if the animals have been transported live from one country to another, or if the animal was slaughtered without first being stunned. Consumers increasingly wish to know the provenance of food and this would give them enough information to make informed choices about the food they purchase.

The European Commission said: “The Commission must examine within two years after the entry into force of the new regulation the possible extension of the compulsory labelling of the country of origin to meat used as an ingredient. One year later, the Commission must examine the same question with regard to other types of meat (than beef, pork, lamb and poultry), milk, milk used as an ingredient, unprocessed foods, single-ingredient products and ingredients that represent more than 50% of a food.

The new Regulation is yet to be finalised - the next stage is the vote of the full European Parliament in July this year, and then the EU Council of Agriculture ministers.

These principles already apply to beef and veal, so to enforce it on all meat and poultry products would be an extension of a law already in place. When buying beef or veal, Compassion recommends consumers buy British and especially British organic and to look out for “grass fed” on the label to ensure the cows have experienced a higher welfare.

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