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Concern over France’s sow stall progress

By Nicholas Robinson , 24-Aug-2012

Related topics: Industry & Markets, Safety & Legislation, Pork, United Kingdom, France, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Others, EU

Nine EU countries are still unable to prove they will comply when the sow stall ban comes into force on 1 January next year.

According to the latest figures obtained by Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), 18 EU member states, including Spain, Sweden and the UK, will be compliant with the legislation at the start of 2013.

However, the organisation has said it is very concerned about the status of France, Portugal and Italy as they “have not supplied data on any level for us to judge their compliance."

The organisation explained that the latest figures France supplied showed only a small percentage of farms complying with the ban. And although Portugal had eventually supplied figures, they were from June and only indicated “current state of play”.

“We hear things like France is only 40% and 50% compliant and that’s a major worry for us, as it creates an uneven playing field,” a CIWF spokesperson said.

Director of public affairs at CIWF, Dil Peeling, said that farmers across Europe had started preparing for the new rules since 2001 and the fact that there were still a “significant” number of farms in some countries that were not going to be compliant by the time of the ban was “worrying”.

Peeling added: “The new law will go some way to levelling the playing field for UK farmers, but will only help if it is fully enforced.”

The 18 EU Member States expected to be compliant by 1 January 2013 are: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Malta, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.

However, this leaves Austria, Cyprus, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Slovenia. Austria has told the Commission that the remaining non-compliant sites in 2013 would cease production.

CIWF has said it will continue to pressure the governments of the non-compliant nations in the run-up to the ban and will monitor the situation for non-compliance after 1 January.

The spokesperson added: “It’s no surprise to anyone and there should be no excuses on this because of the fact there has been a long time to prepare.”

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