Pig and poultry farmers are not sure if they want an opportunity to cut
costs which could be coming their way, reports Yorkshire Post.
The EU is preparing to allow the remains of pig carcasses to be used in
poultry feed, which would save UK farmers millions of pounds as cereal prices
soar. This, however, has caused uproar
The practice of using pig remains in chicken feed was banned in Europe
after the BSE crisis 10 years ago.
It has been reported that when the BBC's Farming Today programme reported
on one of the possibilities which are now up for discussion again - feeding pig
leftovers to hens - the reaction was enormous.
Reportedly, moderate vegetarians said they could not eat eggs from birds
fed on meat. Additionally, a spokesperson for 2 mln Muslims in Britain (and 25
million in western Europe) said they could not eat the eggs or the flesh of any
bird fed on animal protein of any kind - and it would only make it worse if it
Some halal butchers once had special sources for suitable chickens and
eggs, up until BSE exposed modern farming practices, reports the Yorkshire Post.
Now they are good customers for mainstream farm production. However, a change
back to the old ways would put them on the spot. And they are not the only
customers who might be lost. Most people were horrified to find out about the
recycling of slaughterhouse waste to farms before BSE. And a lot of hostility to
the practice remains.
More lost than gained
A Yorkshire pig farmer commented this week: "Pigs are omnivores. If you buy
pig-meat from outside the EU, it has almost certainly been fed with meat. And it
probably makes scientific and economic sense for us to do it. But the danger is
that we would lose more than we gained, because of the public reaction."
A poultry farmer said much the same about hens.
The jury is still out
According to the National Farmers Union, "We want a level playing field for
our members to operate efficiently and competitively. However, the jury is still
out. We definitely don't want to turn out products consumers don't want."
The BBC said new rules could apply by the end of this year but that looks
unlikely. The EC's Standing Committee on the Food Chain & Animal Health will
not consider the issue until it is satisfied that the feed industry has
The RSPCA's food certification arm, Freedom Food, said it would not approve
meat-fed meat. Additionally, the Soil Association said meat-fed meat would not
be considered organic.