IFA National Pigs and Pig meat Committee Chairman Tim Cullinan said it was very disappointing that the EU would publish inaccurate figures on sow welfare compliance so close to the deadline. As the end of the year approaches, most EU countries are making rapid progress towards compliance.
Mr. Cullinan said, “The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has published updated figures showing 82% of Irish pig farms compliant. However, the figures reported by the EU for Ireland were 25% lower than the actual compliance level. This is very misleading and IFA expects all farms will meet the deadline. For anybody to suggest otherwise is very damaging for the Irish pig industry”.
“Irish farmers are fully aware of the legislation and are taking all necessary steps to ensure that they meet the requirements. Most of the producers that are not finished the work at this point had difficulties securing planning permission and farmers could not apply for a grant until full planning was given. There were also delays as the grant scheme was closed for considerable period of time in 2011”.
Tim Cullinan said, “Considering the cost of conversion, the difficult economic position on farms and the fact that this cost outlay, will in no way benefit farmers monetarily, it is a miracle that farmers have been able to get so much work done to date. EU consumers have asked for this legislation to be introduced; now it is vital that they support the high standards by purchasing home produced meat. Millions of euros have been borrowed to carry out this work, and it is vital that they EU Commission introduce all necessary measures to ensure the continued viability of pig farms.”