News 1513 views last update:Feb 25, 2016

Only 13 countries sow stall ban compliant

It has been found that only 13 member states are fully compliant with the European Union's ban on the full-time use of sow stalls, according to new figures from the European Commission.

Seven months after the introduction of the new regulations, half of European Union countries have failed to clamp down on pig farms where sows are illegally confined for most of their lives.

The countries that are fully compliant are Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The commission started infringement proceedings against nine countries - Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Poland and Portugal - in February.

The Netherlands, Italy, Hungary, Finland, and Slovenia are still being investigated.

The National Pig Association said retailers and food manufacturers must continue to be vigilant to make sure they are only using porkmeat produced in systems fully compliant with the law.

Sow stalls have been banned outright in the United Kingdom since 1999.

The NPA has been running a "Wall of Fame" campaign to persuade retailers and food companies to pledge they will not import pork and pork products from noncompliant pig farms on the continent.

The association is currently carrying out a number of spot checks, to ensure companies that made the Wall of Fame pledge are sticking to their word.

Source: Isabel Davies, Farmers Weekly

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