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Six months: No stalling

News Section Icon Published 28/06/2012

Stop stalling! That's the message Compassion is sending to farmers and governments in the remaining countries which, unbelievably, are unlikely to meet the 2013 deadline on the restriction of the use of sow stalls.

The sow stall is an anachronism; it belongs in the past with veal crates and battery cages. While the new EU law will not ban it outright, it means the use of the narrow metal crates will effectively end after the first four weeks of pregnancy.

The UK led the way on these cruel crates, banning them in 1999. The new directive will help level the playing field a bit more for the UK's pig farmers and will mean a life free from almost constant confinement for millions of sows across the EU.

But, as with the ban on barren battery cages, which came into effect at the beginning of this year, there are countries which have failed to live up to the EU's aspirations of higher animal welfare.

Defra recently put the figure of rogue states come 2013 at nine: Austria, Cyprus, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Slovenia. This represents millions of sows who will be living lives of near-permanent confinement.

A small victory has already been won. The EU Commission has stated publicly that there will be no delays or special treatment for those lagging behind, so Compassion is working to raise awareness of the ban in the worst offending countries.

What next?

In the next six months we'll be active in non-compliant states, helping people to speak up for sows and tell their governments they do not want to be known as a country that is breaking EU rules on animal welfare.

Farmers' organisations also have a role to play, reminding their members of their responsibilities under the new rules and supporting them in making the changes.

Take Action:

  • You can help us by sending our message to the leaders of farmers' organisations in nations that won't be ready on time

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