According to information obtained by Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), France and Portugal have not disclosed details about their preparation for the enforcement of the ban on 1 January, 2013, which will create an uneven playing field, said CIWF.
Director of public affairs at CIWF Dil Peeling explained that farmers across Europe have had more than 10 years to prepare for the new rules and the fact that there are still farms not ready is “concerning”.
Peeling added: “Consumers in this country also deserve to be sure that what they are buying hasn’t been produced in an illegal system. For the best pig welfare, we would advise shoppers to look out for the Soil Association organic label, free-range, outdoor bred and reared and RSPCA Freedom Food. We would also advise buying British, although it doesn’t guarantee high welfare, so it’s important to look for those other labels too.”
A spokesperson for CIWF told Meat Trades Journal that France and Portugal could be up to 40% non-compliant. It was also made clear that smaller producers in the EU were dropping out of production due to financial difficulties caused by the cost of the transition.
Peeling said: “The new law will go some way to levelling the playing field for UK farmers but will only help if it is fully enforced.”