The Danish pig industry will be ready to implement the sow stall ban when it comes into force on 1 January, officials have claimed.
About 85% of producers were already keeping pregnant sows in groups systems, and the Danish Agriculture and Food Council (DAFC) said a significant number were in the final stages of adapting their production standards to comply with the EU rules.
Any producers who did not comply would be expected to cease production by the end of 2012.
“We are almost there,” Asger Krogsgaard, DAFC chairman told delegates at the Herning Pig Congress in Denmark this week (23 October).
“For many farmers this has involved considerable investment in updating and modernising their systems.
“Undoubtedly it will add to the costs of production for most of these farmers, but many of us have seen the legislation as part of a much wider process, which is continuously improving the welfare standards in our production.”
Danish authorities had already started running a programme of unannounced audits to ensure producers were complying with welfare legislation, with any breaches of legislation reported to the police, Mr Krogsgaard said.
“Those who have invested and thus increased their costs of production have to be rewarded by strong, consistent enforcement of the new laws across the EU.”
“Furthermore, the Danish authorities have made it clear that any producers found not to be complying with the new rules will forfeit their entitlement to single farm payment support,” he added.
“I am confident that as a country we will ensure that all the requirements of the legislation are fully met.”
Mr Krogsgaard the Danish pig industry’s main concern was that the rest of the EU would comply with the rule change.
“Although evidence indicated there will be varying levels of compliance across other member states, there should be no derogation from the planned implementation,” he said.
“We stand shoulder to shoulder with our British colleagues on this.
“Those who have invested and thus increased their costs of production have to be rewarded by strong, consistent enforcement of the new laws across the EU. There should not be any distortion of the market.”
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