The European Commission has issued nine countries with a formal notice (21 February) calling on them to ‘address deficiencies’ in the implementation of the directive on sow stalls.
The ban on the use of sow stalls in pig production came into force on 1 January, however nine EU stats ( Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Poland and Portugal) have yet to be fully compliant with the directive.
A spokesman for the Commission said that member states which didn’t fulfil their legal obligation ‘undermine animal welfare and cause market distortions to the detriment of businesses that have invested to comply’.
The offending countries now have two months to respond to the Commission. If the response isn’t satisfactory, the next step is for the nations to receive a ‘reasoned opinion’ which requires the member states to become fully compliant within two months of the notice.
Sow stalls have been banned in the UK since 1999 and the National Pig Association has been pressing for action to be taken against non-compliant countries.