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British poultry industry warns against cheaper US imports

British poultry producers warn that trade negotiations with the United States (US), where minimum welfare standards are lower to those in force within Europe, could put the industry at risk from cheaper imports.

That's the message the National Farmers Union told delegates at a meeting in the European Parliament about Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), that the EU is currently discussing with the US.

UK improved poultry welfare at a cost of millions

''British consumers expected and demanded higher welfare, environmental and food safety standards, which British poultry farmers have already introduced to the cost of hundreds of millions,'' NFU poultry board chairman Duncan Priestner said.

"Our consumers have high expectations, higher than many of our competitors. We are proud of our world-leading standards. However, these standards all add to cost of production and this puts us at a disadvantage to the US. We are concerned that lower standard imports could leave us on an uneven playing field and undermine our consumer's values. We would like to send out a clear message to those involved in the negotiations that we do not regard US poultry production systems to be equivalent to the UK and we believe that the gap between the EU and US production methods is too wide and it is unrealistic to reach a compromise."

Ruud Peys

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