Aldi takes a stand on livestock welfare

DISCOUNT retailer Aldi has issued a firm commitment never to accept food imports from countries with lower welfare livestock systems than those allowed under EU law.

This week, the UK's new Agriculture Bill – the flagship legislation intended to set the country's farming on a different course from Europe's Common Agricultural Policy – will come under scrutiny in the House of Lords, and there is still hope that amendments might be added to make it a matter of law that, whatever post-Brexit trade deals are struck, UK consumers will never be offered meat from all chemically extravagant production systems.

Aldi has followed the lead set by upmarket chain Waitrose, and raised the stakes for all retailers, by pre-emptively issuing its own ban on livestock products from US-style systems, to immediate acclaim from consumer groups and animal welfarists.

Speaking from the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers, executive manager, Martin Morgan, said: “Association members warmly welcome Aldi’s pledge to never sell chlorinated chicken or hormone-injected beef, as will consumers. We now urge all other retailers in the UK to take note and do likewise.”

As part of the Brexit process, the UK is inheriting laws from the EU banning chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-fed beef, but there is as yet nothing to stop those laws being ditched by the majority government once the UK's withdrawal from the EU is complete.