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MEAT TO PLEASE YOU

Fishing for Leave, the industry campaign group, estimates that the UK fishing industry will eventually be worth £6.3bn once we have re-established control of the 200-mile limit, the fishing grounds, and resources within our Exclusive Economic Zone. This figure is based on the UK catch value tripling to around £2bn pa and the added processing value (net to plate value) making up the difference.

Our meat industry is another one poised to flourish. The British are renowned for their love of animals. How many people realise that the British Government claims EU rules about trade barriers prevent it from ending the trade in the export of live animals destined for slaughter? Those animals can be transported long distances, sometimes under appalling conditions throughout the EU, or to countries such as the Middle East and North Africa where they can face ritual slaughter.

Brexit offers the opportunity to stop the trade in live animal exports – some 30,000 live farm animals every year according to Country Life magazine – and insist that meat is exported ‘on the hook, not on the hoof’. Chiller containers could convey the fresh meat. Fewer lorries would be needed to convey that meat so this would be an environmental bonus. Although Country Life magazine reports that 30,000 live farm animals are exported from Britain every year this figure does not include horses which are also exported to satisfy the continental palate. In one weekend last year, World Horse Welfare staff observed 90 horseboxes, a number of which could carry 20-plus horses, leaving or entering Dover with few or no welfare checks.

Remember the joke that you can use every part of a pig except its squeak? Currently, by exporting live animals on the hoof we are giving job prospects away, not only in the direct industry but also in the many ancillary industries, such as tanning and meat processing.

With unnecessary EU restrictions and hence costs removed, small, local abattoirs could be viable once more. Slaughtering could take place near the point of production which would cut costs for the farmer and be less stressful for the animal than long distance transport. Research proves that the less stressed an animal is the better because tense muscles, full of adrenalin, results in tough meat. Basically, relaxed animals have tender meat which leads to happy customers which leads to repeat sales and a happy farmer. Win, win.

Retailer Morrisons owns its own slaughterhouses. It announced on July 13 a commitment to make sure all fresh meat it sells is British. Rob Youngson, their meat director, says it only sells British beef, chicken, ham, pork, sausages, duck and turkey and that it is currently recruiting 200 new suppliers across England, Scotland and Wales. This is excellent news for our farmers. Mr. Youngson added that over two-thirds of the food that it sells is already British (compared to a national average of 52%) and that it is keen to increase the amount of produce sourced locally.The Co-op dropped Danish Bacon and New Zealand lamb earlier this year. Let us hope that other supermarket chains follow their example.

The Co-op dropped Danish Bacon and New Zealand lamb earlier this year. Let us hope that other supermarket chains follow their example.

Sadly, it is not all good news. Many countries welfare standards fall well short of ours but it is shameful that our government currently permits religious abattoirs in the UK exemption from animal cruelty laws which apply to non-religious abattoirs. Animal welfare must take priority over faith tradition. There must be one law for all in the UK and all must be subject to that law, without exception. Stun to kill must be mandatory in every UK abattoir.

The UK halal market is worth £2.6bn in Britain alone. It is sold in many major outlets and supermarkets without being labelled as such. Even when there is labelling it can be misleading as the hind quarters are regarded as non-halal even if the halal method was used. It is also alarming that their accreditation system can be funding sharia by stealth, as pointed out by Pat Condell, in his informative films that you can view on You Tube.

So, there is a long way to go but I looked out for the Union flag symbol and the label, ‘Produced in the UK from British pork’, on my packet of bacon from Morrisons and I will take delight in the assurance that I am putting British pork on my fork.

What puzzles me is why our Government is failing to herald the positive aspects of leaving the EU. Farming and fishing, important industries in the rural constituency of Totnes are poised to be beneficiaries of Brexit and part of an enormous success story. Let’s hear it.

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10 Comments on MEAT TO PLEASE YOU

  1. Thank you for the comments, suggestions and advice. It is daft that we import meat from EU and export animals on the hoof. The checks and standards are lax and the animals suffer as a result. For example, five horses were found dead in a lorry belonging to a Portugese transport company that arrived on the overnight crossing from Portsmouth to Caens on August 26 last year. Roger’s info that Aussie beef, once trimmed, can be sold as ‘English steak’, Lewis’ pies going Halal, our seas being overfished which results in more dolphins being trawled in the nets…Brexit cannot come soon enough.

  2. Lewis pies in Wales has gone Halal and stopped doing Pork so please boycott them if you see their stuff , they did this purely on future population projections. Great article Ceri thanks , i can’t wait to have our 200 mile sea borders in place , we can then start giving the fish stocks a chance to grow. Dolphins are caught in ever shallower nets as all the fish have gone from the depths where they normally hunt.

  3. Thanks Ceri for an excellent article. I, too, am appalled at the torture animals are put through re live transport, just to be slaughtered at the end of a long and horrendous journeyl. I would like to see the government stop the practice now, regardless of EU rules. Just tell them it contravenes British animal welfare standards, which it certainly does. I am in no doubt that both farming and fishing in the UK will benefit enormously from leaving the EU. Pity the BBC et al haven’t caught on yet.

  4. Ceri,
    Absolutely fantastic letter.
    Well done, for taking up the case for and educating many, on the two Industries to benefit the most, from the forthcoming BREXIT. We need to make the most, of the Financial Potential of both Industries and ensure that it stays within our Borders. Processing the meat and fish that we produce, before they are exported, will give Financial and Employment benefits to us.

  5. I’ve written this before but in light of the above, the following – transmitted by the BBC’s Farming Today – bears repeating. Aussie beef is imported to this country, is trimmed of small amounts of fat and can then, courtesy of EU regulations, be immediately and legitimately sold as “English steak”. This situation does not apply to lamb imports. Considering transport costs, how do Aussie farmers make a profit from this arrangement? British produced beef should surely be welcomed by the green lobby and those of us who like fresh, British produced meat.

  6. It’s an absurd situation where British farmers are exporting live animals abroad, while supermarkets are importing meat from the EU to put on their shelves.

    Leaving the EU will be a boost to our farmers, because if it ultimately ends up costing the supermarkets more to import ‘cheap meat’, they’ll soon turn to local produce. And if our own farmers can ramp up their own production, that should bring down the cost of producing ‘local meat’.

  7. Dear Ceri, Thank you so much for your letter. You must have worked long and hard on these painful issues. You’re a star to stay so focused on bringing to our notice the hurrendous ways the UK treat animals. That’s without even considering the foul government treatment of our fishermen, the fishing industry. No one in their right mind would treat the country they are meant to be representing in such a disgusting way. The UK is amazing, or it would be if we could get rid of the nob ‘eads who are intent on destroying our country and treating farmers, their animals, fishermen and their fishing industry with utter disrespect. To those guys who are so articulate and have picked unnecessary holes in Ceris’ letter – stuff you and spend your time helping Ceri, our country and animal welfare.

  8. Cheri, it is a mystery to me why all those who care about animals, RSPCA, Animal Rights and Welfare Groups are so silent on the appalling Live Export trade. It is beyond cruel, thirsty, hungry, exhausted animals covered in each other’s faecaes (sorry, sp) before they arrived heavens knows where to be killed heavens knows how. There seems little point in our farmers taking good care of these animal during their lifetimes, only for them to suffer appallingly, often for days, before they die.

    Local slaughterhouses are definitely the best method of slaughter – and as for Halal slaughter, it has no place in 21st century Britain. As we have discussed before on other articles, Taysir absolves Muslims from eating Halal if none is available. This has been pushed onto us with no mandate from the public.

  9. An interesting article, but some editing needed, please. A bit too many cut-n-paste problems with repeated sentences that get in the way of the main thrust of the argument.

  10. Gerald Whitehead // August 4, 2017 at 12:19 pm // Reply

    The article was spoiled somewhat by bad proof reading and editing, otherwise many good points made.

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