Vets give their backing to food labelling campaign

Farmers and food producers have been urged to use the UK leaving Europe as an opportunity to create a unique selling point through improving the labelling of food.

The BVA said vets are 'not alone' in caring where food comes from. Picture: Kimberley Powell
The BVA said vets are 'not alone' in caring where food comes from. Picture: Kimberley Powell

Specifically, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) stated there could be clearer messages on animal welfare given to consumers.

In adding its voice to the Labelling Matters campaign for the introduction of mandatory method of production labelling of meat, the BVA said it could answer simple questions such as “How was this animal kept?” and “Did this animal die a humane death?”

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The BVA stressed that its proposal was neither idealistic nor extreme, as legislation for mandatory method of production labelling already existed for eggs. These must legally be labelled either as “eggs from caged hens”, “barn eggs”, “free range” or “organic”. The campaign wants to see this principle extended to meat and dairy products from other farmed animals.

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According to the BVA, there was strong evidence that showed consumers in the UK and across Europe wanted clear and unambiguous food labelling which included information about animal welfare.

Currently the BVA claimed the majority of European consumers are confused by labelling and are often unable to tell what the welfare standards are for animals.

BVA president Sean Wensley said: “For vets it’s a top priority that the animals we rear for food have a good life and a humane death. Research shows that vets are not alone in caring about where their food comes from.

“Mandatory method of production labelling would give unambiguous information to the high numbers of consumers who care about animal welfare when buying meat and dairy and help ensure market support for British farmers.”