EU subsidies used to promote eating of cruelly-reared chicken

3 September 2008

EU subsidies used to promote eating of cruelly-reared chicken

SP Euro-MP Kartika Liotard is giving her support to a Dutch animal welfare group, Wakker Dier (Animal Alert), in its attempt to halt the payment of subsidies to the chicken industry for its advertising campaign in the Netherlands. This campaign, whose slogan is that chicken is "the most versatile cut of meat", is part-financed by Brussels, which the group finds unacceptable. Kartika Liotard is putting questions to the European Commission on this scandalous waste of taxpayers' money.

Kartika Liotard"Wakker Dier notes that consumption of chicken, which collapsed during the bird flu episode, is now higher than ever. Yet government policy in the Netherlands is to try to reduce the consumption of meat," Liotard says. "I see no need to spend taxpayers' money on this, especially as, in its campaign, the meat sector sompletely ignores problems of animal welfare." According to Wakker Dier, European subsidy rules prescribe that any such campaign receiving support should give information on the conditions under which the birds are housed and on their welfare.

More space dead than alive

"Chicken! The most ill-treated cut of meat" goes Wakker Dier's 'anti-slogan' for its radio campaign , a series of ads in which animal welfare takes centre-stage. Kartika Liotard wants the European Commission to tell her whether they know that a chicken dressed to cook has more space in the average oven than it had during its life, and whether this campaign is not a misuse of EU subsidies by the meat sector.

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