News 511 views last update:Nov 27, 2008

Pig producers warn against too much legislation

Detlef Breuer, manager of the German pig farmers' organisation ISN, has once more drawn attention to the overload of regulations in the pig industry.

In a press conference at the Danish agricultural show Agromek, yesterday, he teamed up with colleagues from neighbouring Germany and the Netherlands to express his worries. "Regulations are only good for politicians but not for the farmers," he said. "It's incredible what they think about."

Breuer summed up what extra regulations and challenges producers in Germany and all over the EU are facing, like air quality legislation, the 2013 gestation crate ban, the hesitation to use genetically modified feed and the introduction of farm inspections in Germany. All will lead to an increase of costs which makes it difficult to compete, he said. "But can we still afford it?"

His plea was supported by Wyno Zwanenburg, chairman of the Dutch union for pig producers (NVV) and Hans Aarestrup, chairman of Danish Pig Producers. Aarestrup said: "The pig industry might resemble that plane that is so safe that it cannot crash... There is only one problem: it can't fly anymore."

Aarestrup also spoke about the German piglet market in 2010, which according to him might become a 'battlefield'. Since the Netherlands will have an Aujeszky-free status as of next year, Dutch producers can export to Germany freely. This might lead to a supply increase of maximal 2.5 million piglets to the German market. That will be felt in Denmark as well, since this country has been Aujeszky-free for years and is also exporting to Germany.

Currently, only about 110 pig farms from Holland export piglets to Germany, as they have been willing to follow the procedures. Now the Netherlands will have the Aujeszky-free status, these procedures are not necessary anymore.

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