Sow stall plans in disarray, says CIWF

Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) has echoed the British pig industry’s warnings that many EU producers are unprepared for the partial ban on sow stalls, due to be introduced on 1 January 2013.

The group said that plans for the sow stall were in “disarray”, with only 10 countries likely to be ready for the new rules and some not even ready to provide statistics.

So far, only the UK, Sweden, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Ireland, Germany, Estonia, Denmark, The Czech Republic and Bulgaria are expected to be compliant when the ban is introduced.

The remaining 17 member states are in varying stages of readiness. Poland is the worst performing, with 2029 farms expected to be non-compliant on 1 January. Belgium, France and Portugal have been unable to provide detailed statistics on compliance.

CIWF’s chief policy advisor Peter Stevenson said: “This should set alarm bells ringing at the Commission and the 17 member states that are not going to comply with the ban. They need to get hold of the situation very quickly to stop this important step for animal welfare becoming a farce.

“It’s unacceptable for so many countries to be behind schedule when they have known for a long time that these rules would be coming into force on 1 January.  They need to take action now, both for the welfare of millions of pigs and to create a fairer market for UK farmers.

“The Commission needs to make it very clear that there will be significant consequences if they are still not in line by 2013.”

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