Government Urged To Force Meat Producers To Label Products Honestly

Campaigners say it is too hard for consumers to know how many animals are reared in low-welfare 'factory farm' conditions
The campaign wants producers to be more honest about animal suffering (Photo: Compassion In World Farming)

An animal welfare charity has launched a campaign urging the UK Government to 'introduce compulsory method of production labeling on all meat and dairy products'.

According to Compassion In World Farming (CIWF), there are currently no labelling laws in place to show how animals farmed for meat and dairy were reared - leaving consumers misled about the low welfare standards behind most of these products.

The charity adds: "Labels on intensively reared products frequently display misleading images of rolling landscapes and happy animals. This suggests that these animals have been farmed outdoors, when in reality they are crammed into barren cages, kept indoors all their lives, or kept in such close confinement, that they are unable to express their natural behaviours."

70% of animals are factory farmed

CIWF's Director of Campaigns, Emma Slawinski, says: "The truth about intensively farmed meat and dairy products isn’t advertised on food labels because it’s extremely hard to swallow.

More than 70 percent of the animals raised in the UK each year are factory farmed but these inhumane farming practices are hidden behind closed doors, out of public view. When you think about it, it’s obvious. The truth about factory farming isn't advertised on food labels because it’s an unsavoury one.

"We need a clear labelling law, like that which currently exists for eggs, extended to all meat and dairy products. This would allow animal welfare to be part of consumers’ shopping decisions."

Animals suffer on factory farms (Photo: We Animals)

Petition

As part of the campaign, CIWF has launched a petition, calling on the Government to introduce honest labelling for all meat and dairy products. It says: "Despite the terrible cruelty of intensive farming, right now there is no legal requirement for labelling to indicate how animals farmed for meat and dairy are reared.

"This means we have a haphazard mishmash with some products having voluntary labels, some having no information and some carrying labels or images which are downright misleading.

"A factory farmed sausage labelled ‘all natural’ and ‘farm fresh’, with packaging showing green fields and trees, is still a factory farmed sausage. But how could an average consumer make an informed decision to avoid it? The UK Government has expressed interest in better labelling, but time is running out to turn this interest into action."

You can find out more about the petition here

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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PBN Contributor:

Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

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