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Disappointment over delays in meat sector

Piglet castration in the Netherlands will soon only be allowed after the use of anaesthetics, but preparations to achieve this are not going as smoothly as has been hoped.

Fund not created
The Dutch central agency for retail trade (CBL) yesterday expressed its disappointment as a promised fund, aimed to make the changes possible, has not been created yet. According to agreements, the fund had to be created by the Dutch central organisation for the meat sector (COV) and the Product Board for Livestock and Meat (PVV). Once created, supermarkets would donate 3.7 million euro to the fund to enable the transition to castration with the use of anaesthesia.

"The money is waiting to be paid, but we cannot donate it yet," said Marc Jansen, CBL's head of consumers and quality. "I am not amused. The sector thinks the fund is necessary. They criticise authorities for being slow and bureaucratic, but they themselves are the same." 

Properly done
COV chairman Wim van Pelt acknowledged that the fund hasn't been created yet, but dismisses any of Jansen's comments. "It's a bit simple to think like that. We are absolutely busy creating something, but things have to be done properly. We expect to create the fund before October 1." 

Not only the fund is causing some delays. "Producers have to start following courses."

Officially, as from March 1, 2009, Dutch supermarkets will cease selling pork from pigs castrated without anaesthesia. That was agreed in industry-wide talks in 2007 and 2008. This means that producers have to switch to different methods as from now, in order to make that deadline.

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