EU pig producers muddying the water over sow stalls ban
Posted on 20/03/2012
Forecasts presented by the European Commission predict that pig producers are unlikely to comply with Directive (EC) 2001/88 laying down minimum standards for the protection of pigs when it comes into force next year on 1 January 2013.
Adopted by the Council of the European Union in 2001, the new legislation introduces a mandatory ban on the use of individual sow stalls for pregnant sows and gilts during a period starting from 4 weeks after service to 1 week before the expected time of farrowing for all pig producers. Numerours scientific evidence shows that this method of intensive pig farming is the cause of intense suffering to these animals due to insufficient space and lack of foraging and nest building material.
Despite the generous 12 years phase-out period given to producers to comply with the legislation, latest figures show that only 12 Member States should be fully compliant with the law by the end of the year. This is very disappointing and the EU appears to be heading into the same fiasco as with egg producers at the expense of continued animal suffering.