EU member states call to postpone sow group housing
Agricultural organisations from several European member states have started up a lobby to obtain a postponement for the mandatory transformation to group housing for sows.
The lobby originated in Southern and Eastern Europe member states. The reason they give is the bad financial situation of most pig farms, making them unable to invest in new group housing management systems.
The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and the UK are known to be fierce opponents to a potential delay. A Dutch spokesman said that a delay would seriously compromise the EU's credibility. "Why would Europe make laws if they have to be removed once the time draws near to have them implemented. It's a threat to the equal playing field within Europe."
He also warned for another North-South conflict. Predominantly southern countries are in favour of postponing, whereas most northern countries have transformed already. So far it is not known how Germany, Europe's number one pig production state, has responded.
The commitment for group housing dates from the early nineties. It's the second time a postponing of rather long-term legislation is being discussed. Recently, Poland has launched a plea for delaying the cage ban for layer hens.
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