Pig welfare


14 November 2012    

Julie Girling (ECR)



Council Directive 2008/120/EC will improve the welfare of pigs across the EU. In a press release on 26 April 2012(1), the Commission stated ‘Three Member States (UK, Sweden and Luxembourg) have so far indicated that they already comply with the impending ban, while data provided by the Member States to the Commission shows that 16 of them should have complied by the time it comes into force.’

1. Can the Commission provide an update on the implementation of Council Directive 2008/120/EC?

2. How many Member States are now in a position to implement the ban by 1 January 2013?

3. What action will the Commission take if Member States fail to meet the deadline?


(1) http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-12-404_en.htm?locale=en.

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

17 January 2013  

The Press Release referred to re-iterates that Articles 3(4) and (9) of Council Directive 2008/120/EC(1) require that as of 1 January 2013, Member States should ensure that in all pig holdings with 10 sows or more sows and gilts are kept in groups during a period starting from four weeks after the service to one week before the expected time of farrowing.

According to the information available to the Commission to date, most Member States have taken relevant steps in order to comply with Articles 3(4) and (9) of the directive. To date, four Member States (Estonia, Luxembourg, Sweden and the United Kingdom) confirm that they already fully comply with the group housing of sows. More than half of the Member States estimate that they will fully comply with group housing of sows by 1 January 2013. To provide further indications on the state of compliance of particular Member States would at this time not be reliable because the situation is still in progress.

The Commission will not hesitate to initiate infringement proceedings against those Member States which will not be in compliance after the legal deadline.

(1)     OJ L 47, 18.2.2009, p.5.