EU pig breeding company ACMC Ltd. has called for an emergency summit meeting to address the issue of illegal pork imports in Europe beginning on January 1, 2013, as a result of countries' noncompliance with the sow stall ban going into effect.
Recent figures from the National Pig Association show that 80 percent of the EU may still be noncompliant, and that roughly 2 million pigs per week may enter the production chain from farms operating illegally come January 1. “Imports of such meat will have serious implications for British pig farmers who follow high-welfare practices and who have had to comply with a total ban on sow stalls for over a decade,” said Matthew Curtis, managing director of ACMC. “Due to cheaper production methods, this lower-welfare meat could undercut UK-produced meat and the fiasco in the EU surrounding non-compliance with the battery-cage ban in 2012 will pale into insignificance compared with this.”
The summit should involve all UK retailers, wholesalers, slaughter-processors, producers and consumer bodies to ensure that no pork from illegal production systems in the EU enters the UK, according to ACMC.