Welsh Conservatives in the European Parliament
Dr Kay Swinburne MEP

Pig welfare standards must be enforced across the EU, 27.03.12

 
Welsh Conservative MEP, Kay Swinburne, has called on the European Commission to take action against any EU country that breaks EU pig welfare standards to allow Welsh farmers to compete on an equal footing.
 
The UK voluntarily introduced a unilateral ban on the use of sow stalls in 1999 in the interests of animal welfare. However, the new EU law on pig welfare standards is due to come into force across the EU from January 2013 and will officially ban the use of stalls for sows, except in the first four weeks of gestation.
 
These rules are intended to level the playing field of welfare standards across Europe and will subsequently stop Welsh pig farmers being undercut by competitors using less welfare-friendly methods.
 
However, there are fears that many countries will have only a fraction of their farms ready to comply when the partial ban on stalls takes force in just over nine months' time.
 
 
Kay said,
 
"Since sow stalls were voluntarily banned in the UK, our pig farmers have been at a competitive disadvantage, with many retailers and food manufacturers opting for cheaper imports of pork that has been produced to lower animal welfare standards. We need to reinforce the value of buying Welsh reared pigs compared to cheaper, and often lower welfare standard, imports to retailers.
 
“The voluntary ban has hit the Welsh pig industry hard. Pig numbers have been estimated to have halved between 2000 and 2011 and there is no sign of the end to this downward trend. Pig famers are losing money resulting in fewer viable holdings, exacerbated with the increased cost of wheat, which is used to feed pigs.
 
“We need to support the Welsh pig industry and also encourage the revival of the traditional Welsh pig by ensuring all EU countries comply with these standards.
 
“I sincerely hope that the Commission put pressure on those non-compliant countries so that Welsh pig farmers are no longer disadvantaged.”
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04/12/2013

The European Commission has today designated European Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status to the well-known Pembrokeshire Early Potato from West Wales.
 
The Pembrokeshire Early Potato was one of only three quality farm products whose applications for PGI status were approved today.
 
The EU PGI schemes protect product names against misuse and under these schemes more than 1200 products are already protected.
  
Commenting on this announcement from the European Commission today Dr Kay Swinburne MEP – who is from West Wales - said:
 
"I am delighted to see that this application to have "Pembrokeshire Earlies" added to the register of PGI products has been approved by the European Commission today."

"Achieving this prestigious status is a clear acknowledgment of the high-quality and distinctive produce we continue to deliver in Wales. Pembrokeshire Early Potatoes thoroughly deserve their place alongside the well-known food and drink products from right across the EU which already feature on the PGI register."

 
26/11/2013

Kay was delighted to host an event to celebrate Higher Education, Science and Innovation in Wales last night in the European Parliament.  The event builds on the British Council’s “Strategic Analysis of the Welsh Higher Education Sector, Distinctive Assets”.  A number of experts spoke to share their views of Welsh HE at the event and how it can develop in the future.
20/11/2013


In advance of the 'Fox-Hafner Report' vote on the single seat for the European Parliament, Kay and the other UK Conservative MEPs feel it is right to draw attention to the fact that the seven-year cost of the dual-seat arrangement comes to £928,000,000. Since her election to the European Parliament in 2009, Kay has strongly supported bringing the monthly Parliamentary meetings in Strasbourg to an end and therefore saving taxpayers a considerable sum of money.

20/11/2013


Kay was delighted to meet Malala Yousafzai, who was awarded the EU's Sakharov Human Rights Prize at the European Parliament today.
 

Following Malala’s speech to the European Parliament, Kay said, “What an inspirational speech Malala gave to the Members of the European Parliament today. As a mother of young children myself, I hope that they can also aspire to achieve like her. Malala is an exceptional young lady who has overcome adversity by tremendous force of character and a passionate belief in the right of everybody to enjoy and benefit from education.”   

12/11/2013



Kay was very pleased to meet with members of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Group at the European Parliament in Brussels, one of four groups set up in key Welsh research strengths to engage with EU research funds. The delegation visiting Brussels included representatives from Cardiff University, Bangor University, Swansea University and Trinity St.Davids University.

23/10/2013
In advance of tomorrow's European Council meeting of leaders, Dr Swinburne has echoed the recommendations made in a recent report published by a number of business leaders, which highlights the importance of removing barriers to business competitiveness in Europe and getting rid of burdensome legislation by cutting EU red tape.

 
Last year Dr Swinburne encouraged businesses in Wales to highlight to the European Commission which over-burdensome regulations they would like to see slashed, by writing to small businesses all over Wales and asking them to tell her their red-tape problems.
08/10/2013


Electronic cigarettes no longer face being taken off the shelves by the EU after Conservative MEPs were successful today in amending EU legislation on tobacco labelling.

Conservative MEP's led the amendment to defeat proposals that would have classified e-cigarettes as medicinal products, meaning they would have to undergo an overly burdensome and costly authorisation procedure, which would go beyond the procedures for traditional tobacco products... (Read more under 'Articles')

 


18/09/2013


Welsh Conservative MEP Kay Swinburne has been sitting down with leaders in Europe's biotech field to choose the top five candidates to compete in this year's EuropaBio Most Innovative EU Biotech SME Award.

As a member of this year's judging committee, Kay is once again supporting the EuropaBio award, which has attracted applications from all three sectors of biotechnology - healthcare, industrial and agricultural, from across the EU... (Read more under 'Articles')

11/09/2013


WELSH Conservative MEP Dr Kay Swinburne today hailed a vote in the European Parliament as a "wake-up call" in the battle to save Europe's endangered languages.

MEPs meeting in Strasbourg backed a report which calls on governments across the EU to develop action plans to encourage continued linguistic diversity.

The report, written by Corsican MEP François Alfonsi, also says governments should be "more attentive" to threats which may lead to languages becoming extinct.

Dr Swinburne, who was a shadow rapporteur for the report, has argued that Welsh can be seen as a positive example of language revitalisation which communities across the EU should follow... (Read more under 'Articles')

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Dr Kay Swinburne MEP
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kayswinburnemep@welshconservatives.com

National Political Party: Conservative Party
European Group: European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR)

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© Copyright Kay Swinburne 2013 | All rights reserved. | Photographs of the Parliament supplied by Adam Issacs.
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