THURROCK MEP Richard Howitt is campaigning with the RSPCA for full and honest labelling on meat and dairy products to improve animal welfare.
The Labour MEP believes that shoppers in Essex should have the opportunity to clearly identify animal products based on the farming systems they have come from.
Richard Howitt MEP, a vice president of the RSPCA, said,
“I’m working with the RSPCA both locally here in the UK and in the European Parliament to support the introduction of ‘method of production’ labelling for meat and dairy products.
“In 2004, after an enormous campaign effort, the EU introduced mandatory ‘method of production’ labelling on shell eggs and since then all eggs produced have been labelled by law as either ‘eggs from caged hens’, ‘barn eggs’ or ‘free range’.
“This has helped to increase the proportion of hens farmed in cage-free system from 31 per cent in 2003 to 51 per cent in 2011.
“In 2013, the EU agreed method production/method of catch labelling of fish. The new rules will mean that labels must contain the gear type used to catch the fish, along with a clearer, more specific catch area.
“This is an important another step towards the overall goal of mandatory ‘method of production’ labelling for all meat and dairy products.
“I’m urging everyone to support the RSPCA in the campaign for full and honest labelling of meat and dairy products as we know from market research that 79 per cent of UK consumers take animal welfare into consideration when shopping.”
“Clear labelling will give shoppers the information they most want to know: ‘how was this animal kept?”
The RSPCA Essex South, Southend and District Branch is based in Rochford and the national web site has contact details and how to join the campaign at: www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/foodlabelling