DUBLIN, Ireland: Irish farmers have expressed their concern over proposed EU rules that would end the use of cages for raising chickens.
Commenting on the EU proposals, the Irish Farmers' Association has said such requirements would "have the potential to quadruple the cost of production."
The European Commission seeks to propose such a law by the end of 2023 to phase out the use of cages for farm animals.
Additionally, the European Food Safety Authority will propose increasing the size of poultry barns for layers and broilers; changes in transporting animals; and the limiting of Irish farmers from expanding their stocks of poultry.
Commenting on the EU proposals, Irish Farmers' Association poultry chairman Nigel Sweetnam said,
"The proposals would mean the quadrupling of the energy requirements and the doubling of feed. This could result in a 2kg chicken costing 25 euros to the consumer," as quoted by the Irish Examiner.
Sweetnam noted that only recently, poultry in Ireland has risen in price due to significant increases in the cost of production.
Sweetnam warned the EU that there "has to be consideration of the cost implications of proposed measures."
"This has the potential to decimate our poultry industry in Ireland, but also in the EU."
Sweetnam further warned that such restrictions on Irish chicken farmers would increase the number of chickens being imported from countries that do not restrict their chicken farmers.
"If retailers or the EU want to drive this initiative, they must be made aware that the sector's survival is hanging on a knife edge if these recommendations were to be implemented. Farm families and livelihoods are at risk, and so too is the future of our food security."