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Thursday, 11 November 2010 - Brussels OJ edition

Crisis in the EU livestock sector (debate)

  John Stuart Agnew (EFD). – Madam President, I support Mr De Castro’s remarks about meat and bone meal; deregulation in this area is highly necessary. The British livestock sector is struggling with high feed costs at present, and this is not helped by impediments which are placed in our way by the Commission. Top of the list is the individual electronic identification of sheep – a rule which is not applied to many other Member States, and nor is it a requirement for imports of sheepmeat from third countries.

The impending ban on battery cages is producing huge distortions in our egg market, as caged eggs from non-compliant Member States can undercut our more expensively produced colony eggs. We have producers in this area running the two systems side-by-side before the deadline to try to recoup some of the GBP 400 million pounds we have spent complying with your rules which, of course, is putting more eggs on the market.

Overhanging the entire British livestock sector like a lead balloon is the spectre of the EU opening bilateral trade talks with Mercosur. The British livestock farmer will be the sacrificial lamb in this deal and we are not happy about it.

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