Call for proper welfare labelling

The nine-year-old grandson of Vince Cable has made a film about consumer choice and food labelling.

According to the RSPCA, the film was shown to them and other Labelling Matters campaign members at the Portcullis House in Westminster in a bid to promote the creation of a new law on food labelling.

The business secretary’s grandson, Ayrton Cable, created the short film, because he believes consumers should have the opportunity to make up their own minds about the food they buy.

The film looks at where meat comes from and questions whether or not consumers would still eat meat if they knew it was not reared to decent welfare standards.

Ayrton Cable said: “With method-of-production labelling, people can choose either to buy meat and cheese from animals which are kept in a kinder system, even though this may cost a bit more. Or they could choose intensively farmed food, which may be cheaper, but which has been made using animals who suffered.”

Senior representatives from Compassion in World Farming, the RSPCA, the Soil Association and the WSPA supported Ayrton Cable’s video and quest for clearer information for consumers buying meat.

The nine-year-old added: “I find that when people understand what really goes on in farms, they want clear, honest information about where the food they buy comes from. We should take a stand on food labelling with a new law, and have all meat and dairy products labelled by method of production.”

Head of the farm animals department at the RSPCA Julia Wrathall said: “Mandatory labelling of egg boxes with the method of production has been in place since 2004. The clear information provided has helped more and more consumers to choose cage-free eggs.

“More than half the eggs produced in the UK now come from higher welfare farming systems – barn, free-range, and organic – showing that people are prepared to pay a bit more to improve animal welfare, thereby supporting farmers who rear animals under higher welfare conditions.
“We all bear responsibility for the way farm animals are produced – governments, farmers, retailers and, very importantly, consumers. Mandatory rules on labelling not only help farmers differentiate their products in the market place, but also help consumers who want to support and reward higher-welfare farming.”

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