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House of Commons Hansard
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Trichinella in Pigs
12 June 2014
Volume 582
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10. What representations he has received on testing for trichinella in pigs. [904177]

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First, I would like to declare an interest: my brother is the chairman of the British Lop Pig Society, and he has made representations to me about the time it takes some abattoirs to carry out the trichinella test, which we are investigating.

The Food Standards Agency, which has responsibility for this policy area, formally consulted on the changes to trichinella testing in March 2014. Responses indicated broad support, but also that awareness of the changes is low.

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We are grateful to Brother Eustice.

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I thank my hon. Friend for that answer. Outdoor or free-range pigs are very prominent in Suffolk, where the industry is important, and it feels there has been a stitch-up by the FSA with the pig marketing association. I recognise the FSA is not my hon. Friend’s ministerial responsibility, but it is very important that free-range and organic pigs should not be literally the sacrificial pig to satisfy the European conditions that are being imposed.

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I understand the point my hon. Friend is making. There had been some indication at some point that all pigs should be tested for trichinella. We have tended previously to test only boars and sows that are cull sows. However, the argument for testing only outdoor pigs as a compromise is that outdoor pigs are more susceptible to picking up this type of tapeworm.