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EU Sow Stall Ban from 2012 Confirmed

by 5m Editor
25 May 2010, at 12:05pm

EU - Eurogroup has welcomed the European Commission's decision to stick to the 2012 deadline on the use of sow stalls.

The European Commission will not allow a delay in implementation of the ban on the use of individual sow stalls, the Directorate for Health and Consumers has informed animal welfare campaigners, Eurogroup for Animals.

Europgroup says sow stalls are cramped pens where pregnant sows are kept in a solitary state without being able to turn. This method goes against the very nature of pigs which are very social animals, preferring to stay in groups, and needing to be able to explore and forage in order to properly express their natural behaviour.

In a letter responding to Eurogroup's request for a clarification of the EU's current position, the director of the Commission's animal welfare department has said that the Commission "has no intention" to delay the entry into force of the ban on sow stalls in 2012, which was introduced in 2001 and is included in Directive 2008/120/EC on the protection of pigs. It went on to explain that the Directive has allowed for a sufficiently long transition period which should have given pig farmers sufficient time to adapt to the new rules. The Commission also does not wish to penalise those farmers who have complied with the new rules in a timely fashion.

In recent weeks, some European pig farmers have been calling on the EU to extend the phase out period for sow stalls as they feel they are not yet prepared for the ban to take effect.

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