Labour Party Beats The UK Egg Industry Into The Ground - And Off Our Shop Shelves

Government red tape leaves already hard hit British farmers in another scramble and will push many more out of business

Brussels, 31 January 2007 — Labour is discriminating against our agricultural industry, forcing British pig and poultry farmers, already struggling to survive against the mighty supermarkets, to shell out thousands on new charges.

The Government will charge farmers with more than 40,000 birds a one-off £3,331 application fee and between £2,229 and £2,794 a year for inspection fees under new environmental legislation from the EU, while other countries charge their farmers nothing.

Many fear egg production across the UK could now drop by a third.

Families across the country get through more than 10 million eggs a year and to keep up with our love of a fried egg with the great English breakfast retailers may have to import to avoid shortages on shop shelves.

The Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control permit system (IPPC) aims to reduce emissions into the environment and although it is aimed at heavy industry many poultry and pig farms will find themselves in the same category due to the ammonia and dust produced.

Sir Robert Atkins MEP, Deputy Leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament said:

“The Dutch and the Belgians are not charging at all for permits while other EU countries are charging just small administration fees. Profit margins in our poultry industry are far too small already so thousands of pounds worth of extra bureaucracy will cause many poultry farmers to leave the business.”

“These charges could harm consumers too. If our poultry industry collapses, our supermarkets will start importing from abroad, which means lower-quality and potentially less-safe chicken on our supermarket shelves.”

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