Proposed new EU rules governing animal husbandry and crop growing will lead to a shrinkage in production, Hungary’s agriculture ministry said on Monday after the meeting of the ministers of agriculture in Brussels.
Whereas environmentally sustainable agricultural production is doubtlessly important, current proposals on the table in Brussels are “ideological and unprofessional” and undermine the basis of Europe’s food supply, Zsolt Feldman, the state secretary for agriculture and rural development, said in a statement.
The proposals stem from a Sept. 26 meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council, he said, noting a plan to extend emission rules for large farms to medium-sized livestock farms with over 150 livestock.
This would affect 1,900 hog and poultry farms and 880 cattle farms in Hungary, as against 600 pig and poultry farms at present, while the cattle branch is unaffected by current rules. The economic drawbacks outweigh the expected benefits to the environment, while livestock farmers would drown in red tape, he added.
Higher feed and energy prices, in any case, are also huge burdens on the sector, Feldman noted, adding that western Europeans harboured an ideological adversity to meat consumption, and this motivated the proposal.
Meanwhile, the second proposal to halve pesticides fails to consider the professional aspects of production or the preservation of European food production potential, he said. The new rules would make growing basic agricultural crops impossible, resulting in less production and greater environmentally dubious imports from third countries, the state secretary argued.
Amid the present food security and inflation turmoil, measures should not result in increased production costs or reduced production, Feldman said.
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