That’s why I find the classifications hard – the ham wasn’t a waste product at the moment the human took a bite out of the sandwich; two seconds later, when he or she decided not to eat any more, it was waste and thus an animal by-product (per the DEFRA definition). The ham was presumably equally dangerous to a passing pig throughout the whole three second period. The important factor for communicating to people who might chuck sandwiches about is surely not whether it was waste or a by-product, but that it was “meat.”
And I do remain concerned about feeding bakery products which might contain lard from who-knows-where, which must presumably be similarly risky (I just don’t know enough to understand what risks are removed by rendering treatment).
It would be so much easier – particularly when talking to well-wishers who want the pleasure of feeding our pigs – if we had straightforward statements, preferably posters, leaflets, whatever, attractively produced, simplifying it down to something such as “fruit and vegetables only” and explaining why. This could include something at the bottom to say “there are certain exceptions where mass waste from processes such as…. can safely be fed, but these are carefully controlled to ensure there is no risk.”
At the moment, we still have people with war-time recollections of pig bins and general country ways, and it is hard to convey the message convincingly. People like giving the pigs treats! (We did know a pig that apparently enjoyed tuna sandwiches on week days, and salmon on Sundays. I wish someone would do the same for me.)
Richard kindly sent a copy of the old DEFRA guidance book; also I downloaded the new one. The local Animal Health people are concerned about this issue, and I am hoping to get them to produce a Scottish version in conjunction with SEERAD. We might get something which we could use at pig sites from this exercise. We’ll let you know!
Thanks to both Miss Ellie and Fenris for prompting me into rattling a few cages!