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on July 30, 2010

RSPCA kicks off pig welfare campaign

Think Pig Initiative encourages consumers to buy welfare friendly pork

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has launched a new campaign to promote higher welfare pork products.

The Think Pig Initiative was created after a survey conducted by the RSPCA of 2,184 people showed that 64% of shoppers in the United Kingdom would like to choose higher welfare products when shopping for ham, sausage, bacon or pork, but are not always clear on how such items are labeled. The charity is asking consumers to purchase only pork products that either display the Freedom Food logo, which indicates that the products have come from farms inspected to RSPCA standards, or are labeled outdoor bred, outdoor reared, free range or organic. 

"We have seen the number of pigs reared to RSPCA welfare standards dramatically increase by 26% — from less than 1.6 million animals two years ago to more than 1.9 million today — as a direct result of consumer demand," said Leigh Grant, Freedom Food's chief executive. While the Freedom Food labeling scheme is voluntary, all the major supermarkets in the U.K. have decided to participate, including Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Marks and Spencer, The Co-op and Waitrose.

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