Egg Industry Fears EU Legislation; LAW: 60pc Could Leave
Byline: SHEILA COLEMAN
EGG producers fear already strict European legislation could become even tougher when it becomes UK law - forcing many to leave the industry.
The National Farmers' Union is urging egg producers to lobby their MPs and AMs to make sure the EU legislation isn't further "gold plated" in this country.
Both Houses of Parliament are expected to debate the EU Welfare of Laying Hens before the Easter recess, as it enters the final stage in the legislative process.
However, the British Egg Industry Council estimates the EU directive could cost the UK egg industry pounds 431m in capital costs alone and around pounds 109m more in running costs each year.
But the NFU says it is more worried about potential job losses in an industry which employs an estimated 10,000 people, and fears that as a result the UK egg industry will be exported.
In an NFU survey on the impact of the directive in 1999, 60pc of producers indicated they may leave the industry altogether by 2012 when the regulation comes fully into force.
NFU Cymru President Peredur Hughes said, "It is vital that the Government does not shoot itself in the foot by failing to appreciate the massive impact this legislation will have on the UK's egg producing industry. …