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Red Tractor to strengthen inspection programme
Red Tractor has announced plans to carry out more unannounced farm animal inspections.
Organisation to launch its first ever television campaign

Red Tractor has announced plans to strengthen its farm animal inspection programme and broaden its regime in a bid to maintain consumer trust and promote UK food and farming standards.

The move will see Red Tractor introduce more unannounced inspections, together with the creation of additional ‘Modular Standards’. These modules could cover areas such as organic, environmentally sustainable or enriched animal welfare and will be launched with a labelling system to improve consumer clarity.

“I believe that this is one of the most exciting times in Red Tractor’s 19 year history and I am very proud to be leading us through these changes,” said Jim Moseley, CEO of Red Tractor Assurance.

“Our vision is that Red Tractor is seen by shoppers, farmers and the food industry as the flagship of British food and farming. Red Tractor is already a world-leading assurance scheme; however, we are constantly strengthening our standards in line with scientific advances and consumer demand.

“We know shoppers are increasingly looking for more informed choice and simple signposts to traceable, safe and responsibly produced food, which is why we are looking to extend the remit of Red Tractor. Increasing confidence in Red Tractor and the entire UK food industry is vital, particularly as we approach Brexit.”

To communicate its message to consumers, Red Tractor is set to launch its first ever television campaign, supported by print, digital and in-store activity.

Moseley added; “We know consumers are twice as likely to look for Red Tractor products if they know more about what it stands for, which is why it is vital we invest in large-scale communications to tell them what we do.”

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RSPCA braced for ‘hectic hedgehog month’

News Story 1
 The RSPCA says that it is bracing itself for a ‘hectic hedgehog month’ after calls to the charity about the creatures peaked this time last year.

More than 10,000 calls about hedgehogs were made to the RSPCA’s national helpline in 2018, 1,867 of which were in July. This compares with just 133 calls received in February of the same year.

Evie Button, the RSPCA’s scientific officer, said: “July is our busiest month for hedgehogs. Not only do calls about hedgehogs peak, but so do admissions to our four wildlife centres as members of the public and our own officers bring in orphaned, sick or injured animals for treatment and rehabilitation.” 

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ASF traces found in seized meat at NI airport

More than 300kg of illegal meat and dairy products were seized at Northern Ireland’s airports in June, DAERA has revealed.

A sample of these were tested at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, resulting in the detection of African swine fever DNA fragments.

DAERA said that while the discovery does not pose a significant threat to Northern Ireland’s animal health status, it underlines the importance of controls placed on personal imports of meat and dairy products. Holidaymakers travelling overseas are being reminded not to bring any animal or plant products back home.