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Tag ‘farmers’

“Ludicrous” EU regulation bans using combine harvesters in the wet (2008)

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008
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EU wet land ban on combines branded ‘stupid’ by NFU peer
(Yorkshire Post, 23 October 2008)

European law which bans farmers from using their combine harvesters on wet soil has been criticised by prominent members of the House of Lords.
Former Commons Speaker, Baroness Boothroyd, described the laws as “ludicrous” while former National Farmers’ Union (NFU) president Lord Plumb referred to them as “one of the most stupid ever” during question time in the House of Lords. 

Contrary to what the Yorkshire Post reported, Brussels has no rules on whether combine harvesters can be used on wet soil. Member States are required to establish national standards on good agricultural and environmental conditions and as part of that the UK has decided to adopt a prohibition on using such machinery on waterlogged soil or saturated ground. This is the responsibility of the UK government and not part of EU legislation.

EU orders farmers to give toys to pigs

Wednesday, January 29th, 2003
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Real happiness is a pig in a toy shop (The Times, 29 January 2003, page 1)
Farmers throughout the country have 90 days to put a toy in every pigsty or face up to three months in jail. The new ruling from Brussels, which is to become law in Britain next week, is to keep pigs happy and prevent them chewing each other.

Under EU law pigs must be given ‘manipulable material’ to fulfil an important behavioural need. Examples of such materials given under the directive are straw, hay, and compost – there is no requirement for pigs to be given toys!
Inspections and penalties for non-compliance of legislation are the responsibility of the Member State. In the UK, the Horticulture Marketing Inspectorate is in charge of inspections. Produce inspected that does not conform to legislation is either regraded (if possible) or withdrawn from sale.

It should not be forgotten that all these norms have been demanded and requested for years by the industry and by the retailers. The Commission will continue to monitor this area for potential problems, but has no evidence that current EU standards are affecting the marketing of organic produce.

Tear up hedgerows full of wildlife

Monday, March 13th, 2000
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European chiefs have told British farmers to tear up hedgerows full of wildlife – because they are too wide.
(The Mirror, 13 March 2000, p17)

Farmers have categorically not been told to “tear up” hedgerows. Under the Common Agricultural Policy, aid payments are made on the basis of area. The existing Regulation appeared to provide an incentive for farmers to turn hedgerow into field area. Concern for the consequent wildlife implications led the Commission and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to agree that existing rules should continue to apply.

Now, however, the Commission has announced a proposal stating that hedgerows, traditionally part of good agricultural cropping and utilisation practices, which are up to 2 metres wide, can be considered as eligible for aid. Under certain other conditions, hedges wider than two metres could also be eligible in view of specific environmental needs.

EC in the UK

Check the EC Representation in the UK website

Please note that all statements in all entries were correct on the date of publication given. However, older archived posts are not systematically updated in the light of later developments, for example changes to EU law.

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