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Call for Urgent Action for Europe’s Farmed Pigs

by 5m Editor
22 June 2012, at 11:06am

EU - Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East England, has called on Agriculture Ministers across the EU to implement legislation that will improve the lives of Europe’s pigs.

In response to a question from Keith Taylor MEP, the European Commission has recently revealed that 14 member states will not be ready to comply with the 2013 legislation that will ban confining pregnant pigs to sow stalls for their entire pregnancy.

Mr Taylor said: “The Pigs Directive gave EU farmers a generous 12 years to phase out this cruel farming system, therefore there is no excuse that 14 member states are expected not to be ready come January 2013. I have written to all the relevant Ministers calling on them to take swift action to ensure their pig industry works towards the EU ban and this important legislation is effectively implemented by January 2013“.

A sow stall is a metal crate, which is so narrow that the pregnant pig cannot turn around and can only stand up and lie down with difficulty. These individual crates prevent nearly all natural activity and interaction with other pigs. Pig producers in the UK have led the way in pig welfare by banning the use of sow stalls in 1999.

Mr Taylor continued: “Failure to act may result in illegal pig meat ending up on our shelves. This is unfair to consumers, disadvantages those farmers who have invested in the new law and of course lets down those pigs which the EU agreed to protect many years ago.“

He has been actively lobbying for the welfare of farmed pigs and in 2011 Mr Taylor wrote to the European Commission calling for farrowing crates to be banned and wrote to all the major supermarkets urging them to ensure all their pig products came from farms which provide enrichment and do not routinely tail dock.

For further information on EU Pigs Directive, please click here.