I am anxious to see food safety, welfare and quality upheld' Whitty to back poultry trade in WTO sessions Food and farming minister Lord Whitty has promised to safeguard British Poultry Council interests during World Trade Organisation talks in Qatar next month. Addressing the launch of the BPC ­ which replaces the British Poultry Meat Federation ­ last Thursday, Lord Whitty said: "The world is moving towards more liberalised trade. I am anxious to see food safety, welfare and quality in the poultry industry upheld in this process; the rest of the world sometimes sees these non-trade issues as EU protection." He was responding to BPC chairman John Williams MBE, who warned: "The future of the UK and European poultry industries could be compromised if governments get things wrong in Qatar. "Dismantling tariffs to give access to lower cost and, it must be said, often lower standard producers, must be managed sensibly." Lord Whitty echoed Williams in questioning the EU's tendency to overlook the UK poultry industry when making policies because it did not get agricultural subsidies. Lord Whitty further pledged to stress to the WTO the BPC's concern for animal welfare throughout the food chain, adding: "We are clear these calls must be dealt with by the EU, not unilaterally by the UK." And he repeated his support for the BPC's vision of a sustainable rural economy and food production system. He congratulated the industry for slashing the incidence of salmonella in poultry products, but called for renewed efforts to stamp out campylobacter with the help of the Food Standards Agency. {{MEAT }}