Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Law's Making a Pig's Ear of Feeding Animals; FOOD BILL OLDFIELD

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Law's Making a Pig's Ear of Feeding Animals; FOOD BILL OLDFIELD

Article excerpt


IT'S a bit like a medical professional being allowed to do some sort of operation on you but not provide you with advice beforehand on how to avoid what gave you the malady in the first place.

Or, McAlpine's being allowed to build a housing estate but being banned from digging the grounds and preparing the foundations. Surely it's logical that the expertise that is trusted to provide the solution should be also be trusted to do the whole job.

But not according to our rule makers. Following the success of rearing a number of sheep for mutton and three Saddleback pigs, we recently acquired three more little rare-breed British pigs that'll ultimately end up on our restaurants' tables. And, boy, are they great fun.

Now having gained confidence about where they live, and learnt who's going to feed and water them everyday, they've been enjoying the sun, rolling in mud baths, dancing through the nettles and rooting up the earth. It actually appears a very attractive lifestyle.

And I've a couple of options when it comes to feeding them. The first involves them being given no food at all because there's no reason why they can't just live off the roots, grass and general greenery. The second is for me to go to the local agricultural merchants and buy the best pig feed I can and allow that to supplement their rooting diet. But not too much or they'll grow too quickly.

And it's that latter option I use. But what I'd really like to do is use all the peelings and off-cuttings from the fruit and vegetables from our two restaurants because I know where the stuff comes from and can be 100% sure about what the pigs are getting.

But the law says no. Sure, I can feed them just such stuff from my own domestic kitchen but that doesn't amount to a bag of beans and would hardly supplement their diet. …

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