Hen and pig welfare directives at risk of being undermined?

  • An estimated 30 producers (30,000 hens) in the UK and up to 50 million hens in other EU member states are reportedly flouting a new EU directive on the welfare of laying hens,  brought into force on 1st January 2012, banning conventional battery cages for egg production.
  • British producers have invested £400m to implement the new standards, but there are fears that eggs from illegal cages will undermine the efforts of those UK producers who
    have invested in compliance.
  • This has raised similar fears for a similar ban on the use of sow stalls in the pig sector due to come into force at the end of the year.
  • The UK has had a unilateral ban on sow stalls in place since January 1999 meaning that British pig producers have struggled to compete with cheaper European imports in recent years.

There are calls for the Commission to put more stringent measures in place for the sow stall ban to penalise those who do not comply and protect UK producers. A present both are at risk of being undermined.

More information at: http://www.thepigsite.com/swinenews/28569/egg-issue-prompts-raising-of-pig-industry-concerns, http://www.fwi.co.uk/Articles/13/01/2012/130950/UK-egg-producers-found-flouting-cage-ban.htm, http://www.just-food.com/news/egg-producers-launch-legal-challenge-over-battery-farmed-eggs_id117802.aspx

About Julia Chatterton

Systems modeller with a particular expertise in food, farming and agricultural systems. Working with life cycle assessment methods for over 4 years to assess and analyse the environmental burdens associated with food and other production systems.
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