A press release dated 10th August 2009, from the Office for Strictures and Control on Fodder and Food (Ofscoff), welcomes the government's promised new regulations on disability in the food chain (England).
A spokesperson for Ofscoff, Dr Isabella McTarry-Wilson, is quoted as saying:
"This is welcome news; for too long now disabled animals have been excluded from playing a full role in the provision of food. This is an equal opportunities issue, and we're pleased to see Defra's taking a stand. From next year, it will no longer be acceptable for an animal to be excluded just because it isn't perfect. After all, the number of legs a sheep has doesn't affect the quality of its meat."
Dr McTarry-Wilson added,
"We welcome Defra's affirmative action, and we're particularly pleased that, from 2011, farmers will have to have at least 25% of their animals registered disabled. We look forward to the industry's co-operation with the proposed Disabled Animal Agency as it tours farms to ensure compliance".
McTarry-Wilson denied rumours that a decision had been taken in principle to extend the scheme to plants, although she said that, over the last few months, there had been intense lobbying from Plants Rights activists.