Ground-breaking Scottish pig scheme launched

Pig farms throughout Scotland are being visited by Scottish SPCA inspectors as part of a ground-breaking initiative welcomed by the Scottish pig industry.

From this month supermarket shelves and butchers’ counters with Asda, supplied by Vion Halls will be stocking ‘Specially Selected Pork Approved by Scottish SPCA’ in an initiative developed by a partnership consisting of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and the Scottish SPCA.

Scottish SPCA chief executive Stuart Earley said: “This is a very exciting project which I am pleased to say is demonstrating the extremely high standards of welfare on Scottish pig farms.

“Consumers purchasing Specially Selected Pork labelled as approved by the Scottish SPCA can be confident the product has been sourced from farms where the health and welfare of pigs is a top priority.”

The iniative is on course to see hundreds of Scottish pig farms inspected and approved by the animal welfare charity and is said to be the UK’s first farm assurance and food labelling scheme independently approved by a national animal welfare charity.

Participation is voluntary and it is expected the vast majority of pig farms in Scotland, more than 200, will become involved. Already pig farms producing more than 4,000 pigs per week have been inspected by the Scottish SPCA.

‘Uel Morton, QMS chief executive, said: “One problem the pig industry faces is that, compared with beef and sheep farms, it is not easy to open the gates of pig units to allow the public access.”

He added: “Through this initiative, however, Scottish SPCA inspectors are being
given full access to inspect pig farms and we are delighted they can act as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the wider public and provide complete, independent assurance on welfare standards.”