The upcoming sow stall ban has been a hot topic in the pig industry recently, with 2013 approaching rapidly, there is concern that the ban on sow stalls, which officially takes place end of 2012, will not be taken seriously by all member states.
NFU Scotland and the National Pig Association met with the head of the European Commission’s (EC) animal welfare unit, Andrea Gavinelli, early this month and there were talks about concerns as to whether compliant UK producers won’t be at risk of being disadvantaged as EU competitors continue to use a more cost effective system.
NFUS’s pigs working group chairman, Philip Sleigh, said: “Compliance in the UK with the forthcoming sow stall legislation is not an issue as a ban on the use of sow stalls was unilaterally introduced in here January 1999. However, it is in the interests of every single UK pig producer that Europe works harder on bringing the ban into place across the whole of Europe as intended and that the mistakes made in introducing the laying cage ban, where compliant producers risk being disadvantaged, are not repeated.
He also added “It was clear from our discussions with Mr Gavinelli that enforcing the sow stall ban across the EU remains a challenge. We urged him to put an increased level of commitment and resource into ensuring a blanket introduction of the sow stall ban across the EU and that systems were introduced that were able to clearly identify whether pig meat came from legal or illegal systems. ”