By Shraddha Kaul, British Poultry Council
The British Poultry Council is calling for a Government-wide commitment that production standards of imported food will have to meet British standards as a condition of entry.
British farmers have worked incredibly hard to build a food system that enhances British food values and that ensures high standards of production from farm to fork. As a nation, we demand safe, wholesome, and nutritious food; world-class animal welfare; production that respects the environment; food that is affordable and available; and a sustainable and secure supply chain. We cannot afford to lower our food standards in pursuit of new trade deals and animal welfare is an integral part of our high standards of food production.
We cannot afford to compromise on our high standards of production in pursuit of new trade deals and accept trade products that do not meet our high standards of food production, right from animal welfare to food safety. British food producers don’t dip their chicken carcase in chlorine (or acetic acid for that matter) as we do not believe in ‘cleaning up at the end’ or taking any short-cuts when it comes to producing food. Using chemicals to disinfect food at the end of a production process can hide a multitude of sins, but what it can’t hide is the need for their use in the first place.
The UK/EU has multiple pieces of national legislation aimed at various aspects of animal welfare. For chicken alone this includes on-farm, catching, transport, and at slaughter. The US has no national welfare legislation covering farm animal welfare. Some states have laws but as of August 2016 the three major chicken producing states of Georgia, Alabama, and Arkansas did not. In the absence of legislation, the voluntary standards of the National Chicken Council are observed.
We are calling for a Government-wide commitment that production standards of imported food will have to meet British standards as a condition of entry. This would allow for fair competition, healthy trade (which is essential for carcase balance) and ensure food standards that British people can be proud of.”