The Danish pig industry is confident that it will be ready for implementation of the EU ban on use of traditional stalls for keeping sows during pregnancy. The ban will take effect from January 2013, following a transitional period of 12 years.
The results of a survey conducted in June this year indicated that nearly 70% of producers already keep pregnant sows in group systems, which is in line with the requirements of the EU legislation due in 2013.
Of those who have not yet converted, around a half already have secured the necessary environmental approval or have already submitted an application. Of the remainder who intend to remain in pig production, all have indicated that they will make the necessary application in the near future.
Around 6% of those responding said they do intend to stop production before 2013, but this reduction is likely to be more than offset by those farmers who plan to increase their sow numbers prior to 2013.
In recent months, it has been reported that a number of EU pig producer groups have made representations to the EU Commission for a ‘derogation’ to continue the use of traditional stalls for pregnant sows beyond the original deadline. Danish pig producers have welcomed reassurances from the EU Commission that they have no intention of extending the deadline beyond January 2013.