31 March 2000

…Danes face new regs

DANISH pig producers face new legislation on flooring, showers and providing rooting materials.

The new regulations say that in all buildings at least one third of the minimum floor area for pigs must be solid or drained so that pigs have access to an area of the floor which is not slatted. In weaner pens, this increases to at least one half the total floor area.

Pens for all pigs above 20kg must also have showering facilities, allowing animals to regulate their temperature in hot weather.

Both flooring and showering requirements apply to new buildings from July 2000, while buildings already in use have until July 2015 to meet requirements.

The new regulations also insist that all pigs must have access to straw or alternative rooting material, but this wont come into force until July 2005, allowing time for more research.

According to a Danish Bacon spokesperson, the legislation will create additional costs for Danish pig producers beyond that of their European counterparts.

As FARMERS WEEKLY went to press, no one from the NPA, ABM or BPEX was available to comment on the move, but Scottish pig producer Dennis Bridgeford believes that it is simply welfare propaganda.

"We should all just get on with producing pigs, but if theyre going all-out for welfare, why dont they get rid of stalls too?"