Danes want to make life better for pigs with new food label

The Local Denmark
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Danes want to make life better for pigs with new food label
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A new label on Danish meat products will encourage consumers to choose more animal-friendly, if expensive, products, industry representatives hope.


The label, to be presented Monday by the Ministry of Environment and Food (Miljø- og Fødevareministeriet), will inform consumers about the living standards of pigs before the animal's meat is used for pork steaks and bacon rashers.

Industry representative organisation the Danish Agriculture and Food Council (Landbrug og Fødevarer) told broadcaster TV2 that it supported the initiative, hoping that it would encourage Danes to reward farmers that made an extra effort for pig welfare.

“We very much want consumers to demand meat with high standards of animal welfare. Because we really want to supply it,” said the council's administrative director Karen Hækkerup to TV2.

“But it would be nice if consumers also rewarded farmers for their work. And we think the labelling can help with this. It will make it easier for consumers to prioritise animal welfare,” she continued.

The label will give up to three stars depend on a number of conditions relating to the welfare of the animals, including how much time they spend being transported and whether their tails are removed, reports TV2.

Three-star pigs will have spent a stipulated minimum amount of time outside and have slept on straw.

“We already have high standards of animal welfare in Denmark, but we want to make them even better. Animals that are well-treated taste better, are less likely to get sick and many other things,” said Hækkerup.

A survey conducted by the council found that four out of five Danes were prepared to pay extra for good animal welfare, although only six percent said they considered it as a factor the last time they purchased meat.

Hækkerup said that this was precisely what her organisation hoped to change.

“It doesn’t make sense for farmers to spend more money and energy on better animal welfare if consumers choose the cheapest products from Poland and don’t look at welfare,” she said.


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