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European Stalls Ban Could Be Delayed

by 5m Editor
27 April 2010, at 7:05am

EU - Pressure is building on the continent for a delay in implementing the 2013 partial stalls ban, because so many pig producers cannot find the money to convert to loose-housing.

A recent vote in a committee meeting at farmers union Copa-Cogeca found 16 in favour of pressing Brussels for a derogation, and only one – Denmark – in favour of the partial ban going ahead as planned in January 2013.

But just because so many countries want a derogation, it does not mean it is going to happen, says NPA chairman Stewart Houston, who was unable to attend the Copa Cogeca meeting.

At a meeting of the Brussels advisory group on pig meat, he heard from the Brussels department of health and consumer affairs that a derogation is unlikely to be agreed, because it would undermine the credibility of the European Commission.

If continental pig producers were set on keeping sow stalls they would have to campaign, through the council of ministers, for a change in the law, and that would take two to three years, suggested the department of health and consumer affairs.

But despite this reassurance, Mr Houston remains concerned that Brussels might yet cave in to demands for a derogation.

If they did, it would leave British pig producers, who have invested heavily in loose-housing, at a continuing disadvantage.

Like the Danes, the Dutch and the Swedes, he is adamant the European partial ban should go ahead in January 2013, as planned.

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