My word, isn’t this a ghastly, terrible, problem?

However, farmers’ leaders warned that if China restricted imports this could lead to the UK being inundated with meat produced at a lower cost than was possible in Britain because of enhanced animal welfare standards.

British folk made better off. If we allow this to catch on then where would we be?

19 thoughts on “My word, isn’t this a ghastly, terrible, problem?”

  1. But since we’re told time and time again that shoppers desire better welfare for animals, they’ll simply pay the higher price for UK-reared beef and scorn the imported fare, won’t they?

  2. It’s reasonable for imports to face the same welfare and hygiene requirements as locally produced products, of course and driving local producers out of the market is not a sensible solution in the medium and long term where continuity of supply from elsewhere cannot be guaranteed.

    When the French cut off the electricity we can eat more fish.

  3. What higher standards are these then? I let my sheep and lambs die in the field because it costs more to get a vet than the animal is worth. Try to hide this from the neighbours by piling them up down the end of one of my fields behind a tree.

  4. I do agree Pat. I noticed that, while the Chinese were happy to stop importing Aussie coal since they can buy the stuff elsewhere, they still import huge quantities of iron ore.

    Of course they’re supposed to be investing in Sierra Leone to avoid having to deal with awful Oz. Given the way the Sierra Leoneans behave, I’m not holding my breath.

  5. Allowing imported food with lower welfare standards than the UK is as fucking stupid as making electricity expensive to subsidise renewables and then losing industry to China where they burn coal to make the same things.

    If we do not believe in animal welfare, let’s have a level playing field for British farmers.

  6. “But since we’re told time and time again that shoppers desire better welfare for animals, they’ll simply pay the higher price for UK-reared beef and scorn the imported fare, won’t they?”

    Will they f*ck. The UK public are fundamentally hypocritical – consistently voting for more fluffy bunny policies regarding UK based food production, but expecting to be still able to buy their food cheaply from places where those policies don’t apply, and is thus considerably cheaper.

    Make the UK consumer pay for the consequences of their voting I say. Or alternatively allow UK producers to compete on a level playing field. If that means piles of dead sheep pushed into field corners as suggested above, or nasty chemicals sprayed willy-nilly, then so be it.

  7. And just how bad are the standards of animal welfare in NZ compared to the eastern and southern parts of the EU?
    We were very happily importing NZ food before joining the EEC and continued to do so while part of the EU: did NZ suddenly drop all of its standards the day Brexit happened? I smell bullshit from Remoaners.

  8. NFU logic says that Brits who take a tourist trip to Argentina must take their own packed lunches. They absolutely must not be allowed to eat at a local stake house because of the lower standards.

  9. *shrugs*

    Either those higher standards are important to people – in which case they’ll pay the higher cost – or they aren’t.

  10. ‘But since we’re told time and time again that shoppers desire better welfare for animals, they’ll simply pay the higher price for UK-reared beef and scorn the imported fare, won’t they?’

    Well Julia, I’m remembering a recent statement in the media that 79% of Aussies want action on climate change. But the last election certainly didn’t show this.

    Perhaps Biden and his mob’ll show Labor how to sort things out this time.

  11. Bong: They absolutely must not be allowed to eat at a local stake house.

    More frequently found in Transylvania than in Argentina?

  12. NZ probably has higher standards than the UK already, and has the significant advantage that the animals are out in the fields year round eating grass.

    It is pure BS the standards argument, NZ is quite simply a cheaper place to raise sheep and cattle, lower land prices and year round better climate. Better meat too.

  13. “NZ probably has higher standards than the UK already, and has the significant advantage that the animals are out in the fields year round eating grass.

    It is pure BS the standards argument, NZ is quite simply a cheaper place to raise sheep and cattle, lower land prices and year round better climate. Better meat too.”

    That probably is true, for meat and dairy produce from NZ (though they do allow some things that are not allowed in the UK, such as disposal rules for fallen stock), however its definitely not true for many food products, such as cereals from North America, which are produced using chemicals banned in the UK, and also using GM varieties, which are also banned in the UK (and EU), or pork products from the EU, which are produced under welfare standards not allowed in the UK (farrowing crates). Similarly egg producers in the EU are still allowed to use battery cages which have been banned in the Uk for some time.

    All farmers want is a fair chance to compete with imports. If the imports are cheaper because of natural advantages, so be it. But if the imports are only cheaper because they use production methods and inputs that are banned in the UK, then its just rank hypocrisy to ban such methods in the UK while importing food produced to exactly the same ‘immoral’ standards that have been outlawed here.

  14. Having left the EU, we should lift their ludicrous ban on GM food (perhaps keep the labels so nutters can pay more if they wish). As Matt Ridley has frequently pointed out, it makes no sense to permit potatoes that have been randomly mutated by exposure to gamma radiation and then selected for a desired characteristic, but ban not those that have been subjected to CRISPR editing.

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