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Three Scottish pig farmers were treated to some VIP treatment when Miss Scotland, Katharine Brown, took them for a spin to celebrate the launch of a campaign for pork from farms inspected by the Scottish SPCA.

The new Quality Meat Scotland campaign highlights the high welfare standards of pigs on Scottish farms. Scottish SPCA Chief Inspector, Paul Anderson, also supported the launch of a fleet of “Specially Selected Pork Approved by Scottish SPCA” branded taxis. Thirty liveried taxis will be making their appearance over the next two months in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Pig farms throughout Scotland are being visited by Scottish SPCA inspectors as part of the ground-breaking initiative. The move is the UK's first farm assurance and food labelling scheme independently approved by a national animal welfare charity. Participation is voluntary and since the inspections got underway last year farms accounting for more than 90% of Scottish pig production have been inspected by the Scottish SPCA.

“Specially Selected Pork Approved by Scottish SPCA” is available on butchers’ counters and supermarket shelves with Asda, supplied by Vion Halls, leading the way.

Scottish SPCA Chief Inspector, Paul Anderson said Scotland’s animal welfare charity was delighted with the positive response from the Scottish pig industry. "This is a very exciting project which I am pleased to say is demonstrating the extremely high standards of welfare on Scottish pig farms.

"Consumers purchasing Specially Selected Pork labelled as approved by the Scottish SPCA can be confident the product has been sourced from farms where the health and welfare of pigs is a top priority,” said Mr Anderson.

The integrity of this scheme is founded on the fact that the Scottish SPCA receives no income, either directly or through any subsidiary, from the inspections. As a result consumers can have complete confidence in the impartiality and independence of the inspection process.

Quality Meat Scotland’s Head of Marketing, Laurent Vernet, said the scheme was giving consumers the highest level of assurance on the welfare of pigs.

“The latest market research shows that animal welfare is at a top priority for consumers when making purchase decisions. By welcoming Scottish SPCA inspectors onto their farms, Scottish pig producers are allowing them to be the eyes and ears of the wider public and giving consumers confidence in the high standards of Scottish pig production.”