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Sunday, 21 December 2014

Euro MP calls for pork boycott

NORTH East Euro MP Martin Callanan is urging consumers to boycott pork products which have not been produced to the same high welfare standards used in Britain.

Conservative MEP Martin Callanan said while British Farmers had bent over backwards to ensure compliance with EU rules on the conditions in which pigs were kept, a large proportion of EU Countries were still flouting the rules.

The European directive banning individual stalls for sows took effect on January 1, 2013.

Seven EU member states, including the main pig-meat producing countries such as Germany, Spain, Denmark and France have still not come into line with the new rules on animal welfare for sows.

Mr Callanan said: “This news is infuriating for British farmers who have invested time, effort and money into complying with EU Legislation.

“Why should our farmers be penalised for improving the quality of life for their pigs?

“In a time when agriculture and CAP dominates so much of what is discussed in Brussels, I do feel as though our heads are simply banging against a rather large brick wall.

“The only way to ensure your pork is compliant is to buy local food, boycott the non-compliant countries – their meat doesn’t meet animal welfare standards.

“In the UK and in my region of the North-East, agriculture plays a massive role in the local economy and farmers are spending massive amounts of time, effort and money to play by the rules. European Commissioners cannot sit back; they must take tough action against any countries that flout the rules. It is entirely unacceptable for countries to agree legislation and not implement it.”

The European Commission is expected to launch legal proceedings against the non-compliant countries, excepting those that are very close to being fully in line with the directive.

The 10 countries that have already completely eliminated individual stalls for sows are the United Kingdom, Sweden, Luxembourg, Austria, Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Slovakia.

Over 98 per cent of farms are said to be in line with the rules in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy and the Netherlands. Some of the others have compliance rates as low as 58 per cent.

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