All member states have the same duty as the UK to implement and enforce EU legislation on animal welfare standards. It is for the European Commission to ensure compliance with EU welfare legislation. The European Commission's Food and Veterinary Office undertake regular missions to each member state to ensure that EU welfare legislation is being implemented and enforced correctly.
There is no definition of the country of origin in EU or UK law. Therefore World Trade Organisation rules are applied which mean that food products can be labelled with the name of the country in which the last substantial change was carried out.
However, we recognise that consumers are increasingly interested in knowing where their food comes from, particularly meat and meat products. For this reason, the Government support the proposed EU Food Information Regulation currently under negotiation, which will address these issues. We are also meeting with representatives of food retailers, manufacturers and the food service sector to set out Defra's position and to actively encourage them to consider adopting measures on a shorter timescale on a voluntary basis.