The Hidden Cost of Factory Farming
Pig Business : Time for Change
EU Parliament, Brussels, 9th February 2011
On February 9th 2011, Pig Business organised a screening and debate at the EU Parliament with the aim of informing politicians, commissioners, councillors and their advisers about the negative impacts of industrial farming on people, pigs and the planet with suggested solutions.
In Attendance were over 280 MEPs (including those on the agriculture and environment committees), commissioners, political advisors, industry insiders, press and NGO representatives.
Presentations and Debate Video Footage
- Full Program (including biographies and presentation summaries) (Adobe pdf.)
- Photos from this event (Flickr)
- Audio from this event (presentations and debate) (SoundCloud)
- Post event Comment Piece from Tracy Worcester (Adobe pdf.)
- Quotes from this event (Adobe pdf.)
- Pig Business’ ‘6 Big Asks’ Explained (adobe pdf.)
- Full Transcript (presentations and debate) (adobe pdf.)
Sponsored by three MEPs:
- Janusz Wojciechowski MEP (European Conservatives and Reformists)
- Jose Bove MEP (Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance)
- Dan Jorgensen MEP (Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats)
- Introduction – Tracy Worcester, director and producer
- Screening of Pig Business – 15:00 – 16:00
- Presentations and debates – 16:00 – 18:00
Expert Speakers at this event:
- Economic and social costs – MEP José Bové / René Louail – Farmer / Gerard Choplin – Food Sov Cap
- Environmental costs – MEP Dan Jorgensen / Mute Schimpf – FOE Europe / Antje Koelling – IFOAM EU Group
- Human and animal health – MEP Janusz Wojciechowski / Peter Stevenson – Compassion in World Farming / Prof. Dr. Hab. Robert Karczmarczyk, Department of Epizootiology / Coilin Nunan – Antibiotics adviser to the Soil Association
Though members of NGOs might choose to follow their own NGOs recommended legislative changes, our event focused on Pig Business’ ‘6 Big Asks’:
- Recognise that the profitability of factory farming depends on externalising its true costs onto the broader community.
- Ensure the Common Agricultural Policy post 2013 moves European agriculture away from industrial livestock production to sustainable, humane and autonomous forms of animal husbandry. So make more money available and make it mandatory for member states to take up the subsidies to move farmers from intensive to extensive farming methods.
- Ensure better enforcement and strengthening of the existing EU Directive on the welfare of pigs.
- Introduce mandatory method of production labelling.
- Introduce a ban on routine prophylactic use of antibiotics.
- Ensure local, national and EU public bodies only source locally or nationally produced high welfare pork.
Janusz Wojciechowski has invited us to draft and support a declaration on CAP reforms that will call for an end to subsidies that support industrial farming, increase support for traditional, small and medium scale farmers, as well as legislation to introduce mandatory method of production labelling on pork products.
Update: The European written declaration has now been finalised and presented by EU MEPs. Organisations can now read and sign this declaration: GO
WRITTEN DECLARATION ON OVER-INTENSIVE PIG PRODUCTION
The European Parliament,
– having regard to Rule 123 of its Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas over-intensive pigs production can have an adverse impact on animal welfare, the environment and biodiversity
B. taking into account concerns that the excessive use of antibiotics in the animal husbandry could lead to the mutation of Echerichia coli bacteria and cause a dangerous epidemic.
1. Calls on the Commission for the CAP post 2013 to stop subsidies for all form of over intensive farming and to provide increased support for farmers who move towards sustainable forms of pig husbandry respecting animal welfare and using local feed.
2. Calls on the Commission to stop imports of pork from third countries at prices below the EU average cost of production.
3. Calls on the EU to favour small and middle size farms with better distribution of farms among the regions and to adapt safety standards for small processing units to sell in their local market.
4. Calls on the Commission to examine urgently the impact of the use of antibiotics on the animal and human health and to consider a prohibition of a prophylactic use of antibiotics in the animal husbandry.
5. Calls for improved enforcement of Council Directive on pig welfare 2008/120/EC that requires the provision of enrichment materials and prohibits routine tail docking.
6. Instructs its President to forward this declaration, together with the names of the signatories, to the Commission.