Spring 2007 Newsletter : EU Broiler Directive under threat?
It appears that reports coming from the press and from Defra that the proposed EU Directive on Broiler Welfare had been killed off were somewhat premature. The WPSA UK Branch had contributed to the earlier Defra consultation on the proposals that were supported by animal welfare groups, the UK broiler industry and also, it was believed, most EU member states. The success of the Directive would have assured uniform and high standards of welfare across Europe. However, some states including France, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia were expected to oppose it and indeed it was defeated at a high level Brussels meeting in December under the outgoing Finnish Presidency. It was then widely believed that the incoming German Presidency, despite its green credentials, would be unlikely to pursue it.
However, the Presidency has now announced that it will continue to process this proposal and a meeting of the Council Working Group was called at short notice in Brussels on 17 January. Regrettably this has now been postponed but the announcement has kept hopes alive that some consensus may yet be reached that would benefit animal welfare and ensure higher poultry meat standards across Europe. The knock-on effect of this defeat is, of course, that it might further delay the long awaited Report following the review of Laying Hen Directive 99/74/EC. Both of these pieces of legislation were expected to come into force in 2012 but this date looks to be becoming increasingly unlikely.
Politics before Welfare! Watch this space.
John Parsons, Newsletter Editor and Branch Secretary