Bijdrage landbouwcommissie tijdens debat met Eurocommissaris Phil Hogan over de vogelgriep
Anja Hazekamp (PvdD): Dear Commissioner, upscaling and intensification have changed the livestock industry in a ticking time bomb. Farmers had to deal with bird flu, swine flu, Q-fever and footh-and-mouth disease. Those who prefer to keep animals in a more "natural" way, are now obliged to keep animals inside to protect the interests of the intensive livestock industry. And still you say that the measures are effective.
In a discussion about bird flu, it is inevitable to discuss the way we treat, keep and transport animals. Animals in the livestock industry are more susceptible to diseases, because of stress and unnatural living conditions. The close proximity to other animals and the numerous transports of animals enables diseases to spread rapidly.
We don’t seem to learn from our mistakes. As soon as the threat decreases, we blame wild birds and millions of chickens, turkeys and ducks are locked up again in full mega-stables. That is not the solution.
Effective policy focuses on combating the cause of a problem. What we need, is a long-term solution: regionalisation, an end to long distance transports and downsizing the livestock industry. And immediately stop breeding more chickens! Thát is how we lower the risk of animal disease outbreaks.
Therefore Commissioner, I would like to ask you: do short-term economic interests of the livestock industry really weigh up against the disastrous effects of this industry?