as strict

28 January 2000

Rules just

as strict

DANISH pig producers will face stricter welfare legislation than in the UK over the next five years. But negative tit for tat discussions over who has the best welfare and food safety record are damaging for both Danish and UK industries.

That is the view of Danish National Committee for Pig Production director Orla Pedersen.

"I appreciate that all UK sows must be loose housed, however, 25% of Danish sows are now loose housed and all new and converted buildings must provide for this type of system."

Weaning and finishing herds will also face tough new welfare legislation, according to Mr Pedersen. "In five years, regulations will require new and converted weaner and finisher accommodation to have straw based non-slatted areas.

"We stopped using antibiotic growth promoters in finisher rations two years ago, and legislation introduced at the beginning of this month means they can also no longer be used in weaner rations."

But comparing standards between Denmark and the UK damages consumer perception about pigmeat believes Mr Pedersen. "Denmark also faces high costs and low returns at the moment.

"Last year, pig prices sank to 51p/kg deadweight. Currently they are 66p/kg deadweight but cost of production is 81.5p/kg deadweight.

"It is important that we have good relations with the UK and I believe our industries can survive side by side. We shouldnt be constantly debating over standards as this only results in consumers having a negative view about pigmeat," he said.

Within five years, Danish legislation will require new and converted weaner and finisher accommodation to have straw-based, non-slatted areas.

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