During the meeting of the EU Council of Ministers of Agriculture and Fisheries in Luxembourg, Minister Krzysztof Jurgiel submitted a proposal for support in the pork sector in Poland in connection with the market effects of applying the veterinary restrictions due to African swine fever.
Photo. Minister Krzysztof Jurgiel and Counsellor General Zofia Krzyżanowska at the meeting in Luxembourg
The recent occurrence of new outbreaks of African swine fever in holdings keeping pigs results in a very difficult situation of the producers in the restricted zones, but also increasing uncertainty for the entire pork sector in Poland.
In holdings covered by the veterinary restrictions, welfare of pigs in pigsties. The production process is continued, which in the absence of a possibility of selling fatteners, is associated with a risk of the excessive density of animals in livestock buildings.
Losses are also suffered by slaughterhouses and processors who have a problem with the acquisition of raw material. Processors purchasing animals from the areas covered by the restrictions must manage overgrown animals with the lower meat yield and in case of the protection zone and surveillance zone – incur the costs related to providing appropriate transport, slaughtering and processing conditions, render some products in appropriate conditions and subject meat to heat treatment.
Poland seeks to obtain funds from the European Union for compensation for not keeping pigs in holdings with the low level of biosecurity and due to lower prices of pork in the zones covered with the veterinary restrictions.
Minister Jurgiel assured that intense measures were taken at the national level aimed at preventing the spread of ASF virus into the remaining part of Poland and European Union which is not easy, inter alia, due to the proximity of Belarus and Ukraine, where ASF is widely spread.
Bearing the above in mind, the head of the Polish Ministry of Agriculture appealed for the use of all possible forms of support from the European Union budget, including from the market funds, development of rural and veterinary areas, so as to limit the effects of the current situation and prevent its further deterioration.
In response to the Polish request, Commissioner Hogan assured that the issue of ASF was the most important matter for the pork sector. The Commissioner welcomed the proposal of the action programme and thanked for its presentation. In addition, he assured that the Commission services were ready to cooperate with Poland in order to find the best solutions. The Commissioner announced that in the nearest future the meetings would be held at the expert level with the European Commission representatives dealing with the agricultural and veterinary affairs (DG AGRI and DG SANTE) so as to develop a scope of aid for producers from the pork sector in Poland in connection with ASF.
The Polish request has been supported by many other Ministers.
In the point concerning the review of the Multiannual Financial Framework, Poland submitted a proposal on the simplification of the Common Agricultural Policy.