The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for eggs, pigs and poultry is launching enquiries into planning, antibiotics and welfare, and is canvassing the views of farmers on the subjects.

Launched in 2012, the APPG is a cross-party group for MPs and members of the House of Lords who have an interest in the egg, pig and poultry sectors. The NFU, the British Egg Industry Council, the British Poultry Council and the National Pig Association support the group.

Its chair, MP Neil Parish (pictured), says the group will try to prevent the “gold plating” of EU legislation – or putting UK farmers at a competitive disadvantage.

“All three industries face significant challenges, including high feed prices and significant costs imposed by farm animal welfare, environmental and food safety regulations agreed at the EU level,” said Mr Parish.

“While we support these, we are particularly keen to ensure the UK is not in any way disadvantaged by an uneven playing field compared with our EU partners or is burdening itself with ‘gold-plated’ legislation.”

It will hold a series of committee-style hearings this year looking specifically at the issues of planning, antibiotics and welfare. It is hoped these meetings will have a positive influence on decisions taken by DEFRA.

As a precursor to this, the group is inviting those with an interest in eggs, pigs and poultry to email Neil Parish at: neil.parish.mp@parliament.org.uk with their views.