No from European farmers to the EU 'stables-killing' directive
New legislation 'equates farms with factories by pushing them to close'
20, Mar 2023
European farmers say no to the "kill stables" directive which equates farms to factories, pushing them to close. The alarm was sounded in an open letter signed by the main European agricultural organizations and addressed to the competent ministers in view of the discussion at today's EU Environment Council concerning the Commission's proposal to revise the Directive on industrial emissions (IED) .
In addition to Italy (Coldiretti), the signatory agricultural organizations are those of Belgium (Fwa), the Czech Republic (Akcr and Zscr), Germany (Dbv), France (Fnsea), Poland (Fbzpr), Portugal (Cap), Slovakia ( sppk) and Spain (Asaja). All consider the wording of the proposal "totally inadequate and unacceptable in relation to the reality of European production".
"If not adequately countered, this proposal - the organizations write - could lead to a disruptive reduction in the incomes of our farmers or, potentially, to the closure of many small-medium sized farms, undermining food sovereignty, with the consequent increase in dependence from imports of animal products from third countries, which have much lower environmental, food safety and animal welfare standards than those imposed on EU farmers.This would go against recent EU policy developments on reciprocity in international trade , widening the gap between the Union itself and trading partners".
In fact, the European organizations argue, "equating livestock farming, even of small/medium size, to industrial activities, appears unfair and misleading with respect to the role they play in environmental balance and food safety in Europe. Above all -the letter continues- , is the result of an impact assessment based on imprecise and outdated data, and of an ideological approach that must be stigmatized, also because it could have negative impacts on the environment, reducing grazing areas with loss of biodiversity and landscapes, a threat to vitality of rural areas and more".
"The only possible option - the agricultural organizations argue in the letter - is to maintain the current regulatory framework with the elimination of the bovine sector from the scope of the directive and the restoration of the current thresholds established for the poultry sector (starting from 40,000 head) and swine (production pigs weighing more than 30 kg: starting from 2,000 heads; sows: starting from 750 heads)".
"This solution - they add in the letter - would recognize the efforts that farmers are making to increase the sustainability of their companies which, on a global scale, are already those that record the best performances in terms of environmental impact and climate change mitigation. The progress achieved must not be nullified and stopped. Finally, we believe that speeding up the process towards a common position in the Council is not consistent with the timelines that are emerging in the internal discussions in the European Parliament".