Green MEP supports call for sow stall compliance

A Green MEP has vowed to put pressure on the European Commission to ensure that European producers meet the deadline for the 2013 ban on sow stalls.

Keith Taylor, Green MEP for south-east England, said that his recent questions to the EC had revealed that 14 EU countries may not be ready to comply with the law when it comes into force in January 2013.

“As a member of the European Parliament, I welcome this important piece of animal welfare legislation, but I am extremely disappointed that EU law could be ignored by other European countries,” he said.

“I will therefore be putting pressure on the European Commission to ensure pig production standards are not ignored, as failure to do so may result in illegal pig meat ending up on our shelves. This is unfair to consumers, disadvantages those farmers who have invested in the new law and, of course, lets down those pigs that the EU agreed to protect many years ago.”

The MEP is backing Compassion in World Farming’s (CIWF) project pig campaign, which is encourging consumers to send out emails to agriculture ministers in member states, telling them to make preparations so that they are ready to comply with the ban.

Taylor is also encouraging people to choose pork, bacon, sausages, ham and gammon from pigs raised on higher-welfare farms, and to look out for the RSPCA-accredited Freedom Food, outdoor bred, outdoor reared, free-range or organic labels.