25th June 2009

Scottish SPCA pork launch

History will be made within the Scottish meat industry this year with the launch of the UK’s first ever farm assurance and food labelling scheme independently approved by a national animal welfare charity.

The pork production scheme follows a groundbreaking agreement between the Scottish SPCA and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

Scottish SPCA Chief Executive Stuart Earley said, “This is a tremendously exciting partnership which will ensure and demonstrate the highest animal welfare standards on Scottish pig farms.

"While participation is voluntary, we believe the vast majority of more than 200 pig farms in Scotland will become involved. Every farm will then be assessed by the Scottish Food Quality Certification and Scottish SPCA inspectors within 18 months.

“The scheme will be extended throughout the production process, ensuring exceptionally high animal welfare standards are maintained.

“What is absolutely key is the Scottish SPCA will remain entirely impartial and independent within this scheme and will not receive any income, either directly or through any subsidiary.

“While we rely on donations to continue our vital work, we nevertheless feel it is crucial that the public can have complete confidence in our independence and the ‘Approved by the Scottish SPCA’ label.”

QMS Chief Executive ‘Uel Morton said: “The Scottish red meat industry has a track record for introducing pioneering measures as far as farm assurance is concerned, and once again we are leading from the front with this unique agreement with the Scottish SPCA.

“We know from our research that high animal welfare standards are very important to consumers. The new labelling clearly showing our Specially Selected Pork is independently approved by Scotland’s animal welfare charity takes us to a new level as far as consumer assurance in the UK is concerned.

“I am confident Scottish pig producers, who rightly take enormous pride in their production standards, will take advantage of this opportunity to make their pork even more attractive to UK retailers and consumers.”

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