October 13, 2011


UK NFU poultry board contemplating protests against illegal imports



The National Farmers Union (NFU) egg producers are contemplating dockside demonstrations in the New Year in protest against probable imports of illegally produced eggs in the UK. 


UK egg producers are concerned that the European Commission has not done enough to prevent eggs produced in battery cages being imported into the UK after they are banned across the EU on January 1.


NFU president, Peter Kendall, said UK egg producers are rightfully 'furious' at the prospect of illegally produced eggs from members states like Spain, Italy and France coming into and undercutting their products.


He said the European Commission has for a long time had its 'head in the sand' over this issue.


Last week, EU Health Commissioner John Dalli said he would like to see an intra-community trade ban on the eggs but questioned whether the Commission could legally implement such a measure.


NFU poultry adviser, Kelly Watson, said members of the board were particularly concerned about the prospect of imports of egg products in various forms, which are much harder to trace than shell eggs.


She said the board had discussed 'protests on the docks on January 2, although she stressed that no final decision on possible protests had been taken. She pointed out that proving exactly how imported products were produced would be difficult.


She also pledged that NFU, and other allies on this subject like Compassion in World Farming would pressurise any UK retailers or companies suspected of using illegally produced eggs, and would be prepared to 'name and shame'.