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Bulgarian Ag Minister Vows to Improve Welfare

by 5m Editor
15 February 2012, at 9:51am

BULGARIA - Bulgaria's Agriculture Minister Miroslav Naydenov has pledged to make the country's pigs happy after he recently made the same promise about hens.

"There is no drama, we have a year left – the pigs will be happy, too, which means that they will meet the requirements. We won't butcher them," Mr Naydenov told reporters on Tuesday, referring to EU's requirements for humane treatment of farm animals that will be launched in 2013.

The pigs in Bulgaria's farms will enjoy larger living spaces, toys, scratching devices and other measures intended to increase their welfare, Mr Naydenov revealed.

"We did it for hens, we will do it for pigs too. The deadline is at the end of the year, the requirements are difficult," he admitted.

A total of BGN 50 M – BGN 25 M each - will be spent on the welfare of Bulgarian laying hens and pigs, reports Novinite.com. According to Naydenov, most Bulgarian farms already comply with EU standards.

Last Friday, the Agriculture Minister pledged that Bulgaria would manage to implement the ban on the so-called "un-enriched" cages for laying hens before the end-May 2012 deadline.

In end-January, the European Commission launched infringement procedures against 13 EU member states, including Bulgaria, over their failure to implement EU legislation concerning the welfare of laying hens.