Agriculture Minister wants to legalize cages: Protest against Klöckners mess

sows should be allowed to 17 years in racks locked, in which they are not, the legs can stretch out. On Friday, the Federal Council decides. a Bleak Outlook:

Agriculture Minister wants to legalize cages: Protest against Klöckners mess

sows should be allowed to 17 years in racks locked, in which they are not, the legs can stretch out. On Friday, the Federal Council decides.

a Bleak Outlook: to legalize pig in a German barn photo: Friso Gentsch/dpa

BERLIN taz | animal rights activists warn the Federal Council in front of it, which, for decades, prohibited, but widely used to narrow individual cages for the sows. The country representation will vote on Friday on a corresponding draft regulation of the Federal Minister of agriculture, Julia Klöckner (CDU).

He deletes the requirement that the animals must be able to stretch out your legs in the Lie. Only after a transitional period of up to 17 years, this "case stands would have to be" referred to cages a bit bigger than before, and the times of the animals in it will be shortened.

"Any extension of the Box maintenance is a violation of the basic law," said the consumers ' organization foodwatch on Thursday. They called on the Greens to stop the regulation via their involvement in numerous state governments. Food watch campaign Director Matthias wolf Schmidt pointed out that the keeping of pigs in the "box stalls" mentioned cages have already been banned in several European countries, including Austria, the UK and the Netherlands.

Even the German animal protection Association warned the Federal Council "Deals at the expense of the sows". This should be able to stretch their "limbs, at least freely". Defects in the regulation with regard to the Sows "may not be by concessions in other animal species or obscures paid for".

The 1.8 million sows in Germany are mainly kept for months in metal racks, which are only about as big as the pig. It can't turn around and slowly lay down. This has the advantage that the young are not crushed so easily. In addition, the Box facilitates the staff in the Overview, for example, what are the Sow is inseminated. The metal frame also saves space, because outside of the cage more freedom of movement is required.

animal rights activists criticise, however, that the case stands often caused ulcers in the shoulder and hip area. It is cruelty to animals, which keep sows without contact to conspecifics, and without possibilities to go around, your sightseeing drive to live or to wallow. If sows have enough room, would a box-stand not be crushed significantly more piglets.

The animal welfare livestock husbandry Ordinance allows box stands for a limited period of time. But since 1992, is mandatory according to the regulation, that "every pig to freely stand up, lie down, and the head and in the lateral position, the limbs can stretch out".

The higher administrative court of Saxony-Anhalt, demanded therefore, in 2015, that the Box was either at least as wide as the pig is high or must allow to put the limbs without disability in the empty adjacent cages. The Federal administrative court confirmed 2016, the judgment of Saxony-Anhalt.

case stands as the court demanded, "are hardly to be found," admits the Ministry of agriculture in the explanatory statement of its draft Regulation. "Practice box stalls with a width of 65 cm (gilts) or 70 cm (sows) and a length of 200 cm, whereas in regional, to a varying extent also in smaller box stalls spread can be." The average Sow has but according to scientists, a body height of 90 cm. Accordingly, the stand be as wide would the Box.

However, if the farmers would have to expand the box stands to the verb, it could be expensive. Therefore, the Ministry of agriculture wants to pick up the for many pet owners, annoying rule. It writes expressly, the new "requirements are less far-reaching than the current, from the higher administrative court of Saxony-Anhalt, designed schemes, as the demand for the possibility of unrestricted Ausstreckens of the limbs will no longer be charged".

"The transitional period for existing companies to a maximum of 15 years," says the Department. The authorities could extend even to "avoid undue hardship" to 17 years.

Only after more than a decade, the cages would have to be rebuilt. They should be prescribed, the design provides 20 inches longer than before. The width of sows to 65 inches for young, 75 for sows with a shoulder height up to 90 cm and 85 cm for sows with a shoulder height of about 90 centimetres raised. They are so low as to date from the judges demanded. Also after the long period of time, the sows are allowed to stay, according to the draft only a few days instead of several weeks in a row in the Box locked up.

"Penalty" would, according to this draft regulation, the animal owner thereof, for purely economic reasons, for many years, closer box stalls, as required, to criticize the German animal protection Association, Four paws, ProVieh and other animal protection organisations, in a joint opinion. The farmers who have invested in compliant cages, would be disadvantaged. "At the same time, the question is, what trust put the company in the law and regulations, the law and veterinary intends to turn to irregular practices in the law because this law has not been implemented in practice for economic reasons".

Klöckners Ministry informed the taz to request that the draft regulation would improve animal welfare significantly. Finally, the fixation times were significantly shortened, and the box stands increased. A shorter transition would be periods of "just for small businesses it is not feasible to make without you in order to unsolvable financial difficulties," the Ministry said. "It is important to keep production in Germany and to avoid further structural breaks – because it is only in Germany, we have a concrete influence on the conditions for farming and thus animal welfare."

The case stands, would in the future be so broad that "the animals to stand up normally and lie down, as well as in the lateral position can be." You should not be so broad that the sows to turn around, and it can hurt.

A recommendation of the agricultural Committee of the Federal Council, provides for the regulation, with the proviso agree that this will be rectified in accordance with judicial standards and that the transition periods are shortened. A ban on the box stands the Committee is not required, but further corrections. The year-round tethering of cattle should be prohibited and the regulation will be supplemented by further rules for other livestock species, for example, for the keeping of laying hens.

adopted these measures by the Federal Council, the Federal government only has the choice to accept this or the regulation completely withdraw. Against stricter regulations of the German farmers ' Association turned. "A large part of the over 20 Amendments would make large parts of the farming and livestock production in particular in small and medium-sized enterprises in question," said the Association's President, Joachim Rukwied. (with afp)

Updated Date: 13 February 2020, 15:00

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