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No hiding place...

British pig industry interests continued to campaign for tougher enforcement of the new EU pig welfare regulations. In Denmark, the authorities announced an additional programme of inspections to ensure compliance by Danish sow farmers.

Many British pig industry interests, including the NFU, have continued to raise concerns about lack of enforcement of the new rules across the EU and the prospects of ‘illegally produced’ pig meat arriving on the market in a few moths.

The National Pig Association continued to promote their 'Wall of Fame (or Shame)' and retailers and meat processors were pressed to sign a pledge stating that “all of the pork we use has come from legal farms”. The NPA reported that over 100 companies were now signatories to their petition.

BPEX continued to update their dedicated website 'Compliant Pork' with news on levels of compliance across the EU.

In the March edition of Pig Industry Matters, a special feature ('2013: a snapshot of Denmark's journey to compliance') described the different experiences of three Danish pig farmers in adapting their production to meet the new EU rules.

The seriousness with which Denmark views non-compliance with the new legislation is also illustrated by a new initiative designed to verify compliance. The veterinary authorities have just announced that in addition to the 200 farms that will be subject to a full ‘unannounced’ welfare inspection this year, a further 200 or so farms will also be inspected in the first half of this year to check on their compliance with the legislation. These visits are made as part of a programme of audits to ensure Danish farmers are meeting the specific requirements of welfare legislation.

Last year, the DVFA sent out a letter to all Danish sow producers warning them of the seriousness of non-compliance. In fact, non-compliant farmers will be reported to the police and risk a reduction in their cross-compliance payment from the EU. The additional visits will mean that around 20% of Denmark’s 2,000 sow producers will receive a visit from the DVFA during 2013.

These visits will run in tandem with the industry’s own independently monitored assurance programme, which, in addition to the scheme audit, also requires that pig farmers receive a monthly visit from their local veterinarian, who is under obligation to report any non-compliance regarding the maltreatment of animals.

So, there’s no hiding place…..