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EC Report Exposes Problems in French Pigs, Poultry

by 5m Editor
20 August 2010, at 12:52am

FRANCE - A report from the European Commission's Food & Veterinary Office (FVO) has exposed major non-compliances in the French pig and poultry sectors.

According to a report in Poultry Highlights from the National Farmers Union of England and Wales, major non-compliances in the laying hen and pig sectors have not been adequately addressed by the French competent authorities (CA) despite the warnings issued after inspections in 2006, according to the latest report carried out between 1 and 12 February 2010 by the FVO and published last month.

Among the findings of the 21-page report, FVO inspectors highlight deficiencies in controls carried out by the French competent authority including incomplete registers of laying hen farms, deficient data on non-enriched cages and insufficient enforcement of EU rules such as the maximum hen stocking density.

The report notes in particular that cages installed after 2013 'are not being operated in compliance with the requirements of Directive 1999/74/EC' and 'there has been insufficient planning to meet the deadline for the ban on non-enriched cages from 1/1/2012'.

As regards the pig farms inspected, the FVO criticises the 'insufficient care' provided for sick pigs, over-stocking of weaners, general lack of manipulable material and the use of antibiotics/medicated feed 'to compensate for poor management conditions such as poor ventilation and overstocking'. Deficiencies are also noted in roadside checks on the long-distance transport of animals and the improper transport of unfit animals remains 'an enduring problem in France'.

The report does, however, take note of the action taken by the CA to set up a system of approval of vessels fitted for the transport of livestock.

In response, the FVO has laid out a series of 10 recommendations and the French CA has transmitted its proposed action plan to address these deficiencies including tighter controls, better training of officials and better enforcement of EU rules.