We must stand together on pig welfare, says NPA
A failure to fully enforce European pig welfare rules by the 2013 deadline will damage the image of the industry, the National Pig Association has warned.
NPA director Stewart Houston told delegates at a Copa communications seminar in Brussels yesterday how the United Kingdom had enforced a ban on sow stalls in 1999 and urged the rest of Europe to follow suit by January 1 2013 or risk tarnishing the reputation of the entire sector.
"In the United Kingdom we have battled poor profitability, high feed costs and difficult planning restrictions which have forced many producers out of the industry.
It is very important that the reputation of the sector is intact for those who want to continue producing pork,” he said.
Latest European Commission figures show three member countries are already compliant with the ban on sow stalls, including the United Kingdom.
Fifteen member countries say they will be compliant by 2013, five more say they will be at least 90 percent compliant by 2013, two will be 70-90 percent compliant, and two more (France and Portugal) have yet to give figures.
Stewart Houston added, "I am very concerned that the European Union's excellent work on welfare could be damaged by a handful of countries that fail to enforce these welfare regulations.
"I cannot over-emphasise the need for European decision makers, member country governments, processors, retailers and producers to work together towards compliance as quickly as possible.
"Further to that we must ensure any reduction in production as a result of new welfare rules is not filled by imports from countries outside of the European Union that produce pork to standards that would be illegal in Europe.
By the same token the European market must not be distorted by pork products from non-compliant farms within Europe."
Meat Trade News Daily Supporting British Pig Farmers
Source: Pig World
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