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McDonald's backs animal welfare for UK pork menu

A poll for McDonald's found 73% of customers preferred to buy food produced from farms with high welfare standards. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

All sausage and bacon served in McDonald's meals will now be sourced from farms that meet strict animal welfare criteria set down by the RSPCA, the restaurant has announced.

From the end of April, meat in McMuffins to premium salads will only use 100% Freedom Food pork, currently delivered by less than a third of British pig farmers.

The Freedom Food scheme goes beyond industry standards and legislation with farmers required to provide bright, airy environments, bedded pens and plenty of space for pigs to move around in.

McDonald's said it hoped its support for the scheme would encourage more pork producers to adopt the criteria on their farms, while allowing customers to make "affordable, ethical choices on the high street".

EU ban on animal testing comes into effect

Beauty retailer The Body Shop and non-profit organisation Cruelty Free International celebrated a milestone in 20 years of animal rights campaigning, as an EU ban on animal testing for cosmetics came into effect today.

Anita Roddick of the Bodyshop and comedian Alexei Sayle campaigning in 1996. Credit: PA

From today onwards, anyone wishing to sell new cosmetic products and ingredients in the EU must not test them on animals anywhere in the world.

Singer Leona Lewis, who is also part of the campaign, urged governments around the world to introduce a ban on animal testing for cosmetics.

Lewis said: "Together we can send a message to governments worldwide that cruelty free is the humane future.”

Food Standards Agency comment on calls to end non-stun slaughter procedures

The FSA conducted a survey on animal welfare in slaughterhouses over the course of a week in September last year.

Full details will be in the paper when it is published next week, ahead of a discussion at the FSA board meeting on May 22.

The results indicate that the number of animals not stunned prior to slaughter is relatively low, accounting for 3% of cattle, 10% of sheep and goats, and 4% of poultry.

They also show that the majority of animals destined for the halal trade in both the red and white meat sectors are stunned before slaughter.

– Spokesman for the Food Standards Agency
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