The Danish pig industry has claimed all its producers will be ready to meet the conditions of the ban on traditional stalls for keeping sows during pregnancy, which comes into effect across the EU in January 2013.

The results of a survey conducted earlier this year indicated that nearly 70% of producers already keep pregnant sows in group systems in line with the requirements of the new EU legislation.

Of those who had not yet converted, around 50% had secured the necessary environmental approval or had submitted an application to gain approval, said a spokesman for the Danish Agriculture & Food Council DAFC).

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Around 6% of those responding to the survey, which covered some 700 producers, and who represent about a third of the total number of sows kept in Denmark, said they intended to stop production before 2013.

But the DAFC spokesman pointed out that this loss in numbers was likely to be more than offset by those farmers who planned to expand their sow herds prior to 2013.

It is understood the EU Commission has no intention of extending the deadline of the ban beyond January 2013, in spite of representations form a number of EU pig producer groups for a derogation to continue the use of traditional stalls for pregnant sows beyond the original deadline.