19th August 2011

I am calling on the Commission to support a fair deal for British Pig Farmers who are facing unfair competition from Europe. British Pig Farmers are expected to conform to strict animal welfare standards that are not applicable in the most of the EU.

I recently met representatives of the NFU with South West pig farmer Cameron Naughton at his farm near Bishops Canning in Wiltshire, to discuss the problems being faced by British farmers.

Eastern European farmers have until 2013 before they have to conform to the same standards that British farmers have been implementing for over a decade. Yet despite this delay the European Commission is under pressure to extend the time period further and give more time to foreign pig farmers to adjust to the new regulations.

I have now written to the EU Commissioner asking for assurance that the 2013 deadline will not be extended.

It is unfair that British farmers are producing first class pork to the high animal welfare standards that we demand, and yet at the same time are being undercut by meat from Eastern Europe. I know many pig farmers are now making a loss on every pig they sell. I want to stop this.
British farmers in every sector are having a tough time already, the least that we can do is ensure that farmers across Europe are obeying the same rules.

The 2013 deadline should be set in stone. Eastern European farmers have had since 2004 to make the changes and bring their standards to the same levels as British producers.

It’s fair for the animals, its fair for the consumer and its fair for our farmers.



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