Pig campaign trots into Norfolk

Shoppers were left perplexed this morning after a giant pig trotted into a Norfolk market town.The 'Trojan Pig' was placed next to the Thomas Paine statue, in King Street, Thetford as part of a national campaign to highlight the damage caused by cheap, low welfare imports to the local pork industry.

Shoppers were left perplexed this morning after a giant pig trotted into a Norfolk market town.

The 'Trojan Pig' was placed next to the Thomas Paine statue, in King Street, Thetford as part of a national campaign to highlight the damage caused by cheap, low welfare imports to the local pork industry.

The National Pig Association, which is visiting towns and cities across the UK with its large wooden model, says that more than 850,000 tonnes of pig meat came into the country last year, 70pc of which would have been illegal under higher UK welfare standards.

Local farmer David Childerhouse, from Weeting, lent his support to the campaign, which is calling for better labelling of pig products in shops.

Mr Childerhouse said that less than half of imported pork, bacon, ham and sausages was not clearly labelled or included its country of origin, which was confusing customers.

“Just as the Greeks used a giant wooden horse to sneak soldiers into Troy, cheap, low welfare imports are being slipped in under the noses of unwitting British shoppers due to unclear labels.”

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“We hope our Trojan Pig will raise awareness of the issue and encourage shoppers to look for the Quality Standard Mark when buying pork, bacon, sausages and ham. This guarantees the highest standards of food safety and animal welfare,” he said.

The Trojan Pig spent the morning in Thetford, before heading to Walberswick, near Southwold, and Essex.

Barney Kay from the National Pig Association said all imported pork from Europe should meet UK standards

“This is not an anti-import campaign. All we are asking for is a level playing field to allow British pig farmers to compete. Unclear labelling gives importers an advantage and deceives British consumers. We would urge consumers who are concerned about this issue to look carefully at the label to make sure they can tell where it is from,” he said.