Chicken meat would triple its price to the consumer with the revision of the EU animal welfare standard

Warns of the strong economic cost that it would have for farmers in poultry, pork and rabbit farming.

Chicken meat would triple its price to the consumer with the revision of the EU animal welfare standard

Warns of the strong economic cost that it would have for farmers in poultry, pork and rabbit farming.


The Coordinator of Farmers and Livestock Organizations (COAG) has initiated a round of contacts with the community and Spanish authorities to present a report on the socio-economic impact of the regulatory review on animal welfare proposed by the European Commission, since it It would have a strong economic impact on poultry, pork and rabbit farms, according to a statement.

"We want to convey to the different administrations, both state and European, the impact of the modification in animal welfare regulations and warn of the economic and supply problem that it can generate. And at the same time show consumers the reality of livestock farming in Spain and the repercussions that it would have on food price inflation due to the increase in costs for livestock farmers," explained the head of livestock sectors at COAG, Jaume Bernis.

Specifically, COAG's rabbit, poultry and pig sectors have analyzed the possible consequences of the new 'European Regulations Regulating the Meat Production Model', especially the one referring to the prohibition of cages in the production of rabbit meat. , pork and chicken.

"At COAG we have always considered all initiatives to improve animal welfare on farms as positive. However, these standards must be based on independent scientific evidence, which takes into account the socioeconomic impact of the proposed measures and considers the risks, costs, and needs that the total elimination of cages implies," Bernis stressed.

In this way and with respect to the laying poultry sector, the agricultural organization estimates the additional cost for egg producers of the implementation of the new regulations at 140,000 euros.

While in the case of meat poultry farming, the price of chicken meat could triple to the consumer.

Thus, a 1,800 square meter farm has a capacity of 33,000 chickens. According to the EFSA study, this farm would have a capacity of 11,000 chickens so that it does not exceed the 11 kilos/square meters required by the EFSA with an impact of loss of 22,000 chicken places.

The economic impact, at current prices, would be a drop of a third in income for the farmer and production, which will result in an exorbitant price increase to the detriment of the consumer, who would supposedly have to pay a third more. than what you are paying now.

"Animal welfare does not have to improve with these measures. Breeding at a lower density is not synonymous with having these parameters better controlled. In fact, it can be more difficult and expensive to maintain temperatures adequately," explained the person in charge. of the poultry sector of COAG, Eloy Ureña.

Regarding pigs, the report shows that to maintain the census on a typical farm of 1,200 sows, farrowing rooms with 16 sows must be transformed to house a maximum of 12 sows, which means losing four farrowing pens per room.

Thus, a new warehouse would have to be built with all the necessary components (ventilation, plumbing, electricity, accessories, etc.) to house 62 farrowing pens and thus be able to maintain the census. The price per farrowing pen is estimated at 3,200 euros, therefore, the investment that should be made would be around 198,400 euros. An amount to which must be added the price of remodeling the current farrowing rooms, to go from housing 16 sows to 12.

The estimated price of this remodeling is 21,662 euros per room, so the total investment would be 324,932 euros, which, added to the cost of constructing the new warehouse to house 62 farrowing pens, would mean a total cost of 523,332 euros.

Finally, COAG has specified the case of the rabbit sector, which is currently severely punished. It is a meat-livestock sector with a very limited global dimension and subject to a prolonged process of structural reduction.

Despite being a sector of low economic volume, it is characterized by generating economy from scarce resources. In their case, more than 95% of production is carried out in cages, so the potential prohibition of the use of cages in the production of rabbits for meat will have an "extraordinary" impact on the sector's productive structure and on the balance of production. food chain of the sector.

If this regulation is approved, each farm will lose between 40% to 50% of production. "To guarantee the survival of the sector, the three pillars of sustainable agriculture - environmental, social and economic - must be taken into account to prevent production from disappearing or moving to third countries with less demanding standards in animal welfare," indicated the responsible for the rabbit sector at COAG, José Luis Santaclara.