UK: “Scale of production does not determine welfare standards”

03-02-2011 | | |

Recent statements from senior UK government ministers confirm what egg farmers already know, that it is not the size of a farm that determines the level of animal welfare, but how the animals are looked after, reports the International Egg Commission.

UK Agriculture Secretary Caroline Spelman: “It is not scale that is the determinant of welfare. There can be animal welfare problems at both small and large-scale units. It has everything to do with the quality of the husbandry.”

Farming Minister Jim Paice: “I do oppose this principled knee-jerk reaction that says big must be wrong. In terms of principle, all the advice we have had is that welfare issues are not a function of scale. They are a function of husbandry and of quality of management. We shouldn’t be critical of people who want to invest in food production. I’m really excited there are people who want to invest in an industry which a lot of people have been leaving.”