Stall ban will cause exodus
LEGISLATION to ban sow stalls and tethers by 1999 is set to cause an exodus from the industry.
Of the 648 producers who responded to an NFU/Pig Farming survey, about 15% said they would not be keeping breeding sows after the ban was applied. A further 25% said they were uncertain, it was revealed at this weeks Pig and Poultry Fair at Stoneleigh.
The survey also showed that the new rules, which are being introduced in the UK six years ahead of the rest of Europe, would directly lead to the loss of 33,700 sow places, with a further 70,400 in jeopardy.
If only one third of these "uncertain" producers actually quit, and allowing for some limited expansion by continuing producers, the NFU estimates at least 55,000 sow places will go, equivalent to 8% of the breeding herd.
Such a reduction could result in 850 farm jobs going and almost 1800 in the industry as a whole.
• Full report on Pig and Poultry Fair, see Livestock section next week.