AgMin Official Warns EC Proposals Would Cut Farm Output

Crops

Proposals by the European Commission to extend environmental regulations to mid-sized livestock farms and roll out a 50%, across-the-board reduction in pesticide and herbicide use could "put the foundations of the European Union's food supply at risk", state secretary for farming and rural development Zsolt Feldman said after a meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Brussels on Monday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

The EC's proposal on broadening the reach of the environmental regulations to farms with over 150 livestock would raise the number of affected hog and poultry farms to more than 1,900 from 600 at present, Feldman said. Around 880 cattle farms, to which the rules do not apply at present, would also be impacted, he added.

Feldman acknowledged the importance of sustainable farming, but called the proposal "unprofessional", adding that "Western European trends to cut back on meat consumption" can't provide the basis for waging an "ideological campaign" against Europe's livestock farmers even as they struggle to manage higher feed and energy prices.

The other proposal for the uniform cut in pesticides and herbicides fails to take into account differences among member states and could lead to a reduction in production and an increase in imports for countries outside of the EU, he warned.

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