According to BPEX, at the EU Agriculture Council meeting on Monday, Commissioner Tonio Borg presented to the Council an update of the implementation of animal welfare requirements on group housing of sows and Member States’ compliance with the sow-stall ban that should have been implemented on the 1st January 2013.
According to the updated data, only 10 Member States are now fully compliant with the implementation of the group housing rules, while 17 countries continue to flout the law. Germany, France, Cyprus and Portugal still remain less than 75% compliant. Belgium, Greece and Ireland are less than 90% compliant.
Large-scale producers such as Denmark and the Netherlands still remain a short way off. Overall, 75% of the EU’s 13 million sows are held on compliant holdings. Urging non-compliant countries to finalise the implementation of the ban, Commissioner Borg demanded Member States to provide regular updates of
relevant data and Farm Ministers to apply dissuasive sanctions to non-compliant producers. Warnings under infringement proceedings will be distributed at the end of February.
With regard to some delegations deploring the unfair competition between compliant and non-compliant countries, Commissioner Borg however noted the Commission would oppose any unilateral restrictions on trade of pig meat products from noncompliant countries.
February 2013/ BPEX/ United Kingdom.