The new European directive on industrial emissions from livestock farming is already irritating

I amHe missed only 7 votes to vote in favor of the farmers… “a historic weakness”, consoles Christian Lambert, former president of the FNSEA, who fought for months in Strasbourg to amend the text. in vain

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While the agricultural crisis is still burning, the European Parliament, on March 12, adopted a new directive on industrial emissions (IED), which extends to most of the agricultural sector, the standards already imposed on industries related to extraction and mineral processing, stricter emissions of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, methane or ammonia. Subject to limitations.

Pigs and poultry

In fact, the new directive lowers the limits significantly, although only large livestock farms have been concerned so far. The “classified establishments” regulations now apply to farms with 21,500 or more chickens (instead of 40,000 today), 9,500 turkeys, etc. And if livestock is excluded from the scope of the text, farms with more than 350 large livestock units (LGU) for pig farming, i.e. one thousand pigs or 120 suckling pigs.

Read more “Tomorrow's farming model will be sustainable and radical” Clearly, depending on the sector, 40% to 90% of French cattle are targeted. “French farms have an average of 190 seeds, which is far from the average of 1,200 seeds in Spanish farms,” ​​warns Christian Lambert, a former breeder, for whom this decision threatens the disappearance of the French family model. .

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A threat to small farms

Because farmers may have to make more investments to cover slurry pits or ensure methane recovery to comply with the standards. For some, new buildings will have to be built…on average, the bill will be up to €40,000, agricultural associations estimate. “Many breeders over 55 don't want to bear the cost, they want to throw the piece away,” expects Christian Lambert. If the French members of the renewal committee requested to restart the discussions, or if their colleagues from Northern Europe, where most of the animal husbandry was already high, such as Pascal Canfin, did not vote, these new “industrial limits”, all voted in favor. New regulations.

But if the poll angers representatives of the sectors, its close result shows that “the lines will move”, Christian Lambert wants to believe. “Technically, the text will only enter into force in 2030,” he notes. The European Commissioner for the Environment, Virginijs Cinquevicius, pledged to “carefully analyze the effects” of the directive by 2026 (the date when the livestock case will be discussed), and if necessary, industrial and agricultural activities. However, this notification shall not be binding on the members of the subsequent Commission.

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