Brussels, 25/10/2022 (Agence Europe) – Industrial emissions, European Commission ready to discuss thresholds for livestock farming

26 Oct 2022

Members of the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee on Monday 24 October once again criticised the proposed Directive on industrial emissions.
Even the EU Environment Ministers on Monday questioned the threshold at which farms would be subject to a permit system, i.e. 150 livestock units (LU) (see EUROPE B13049A3).
Veronica Manfredi, Director at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment (DG ENV), said that ammonia emissions have been stagnating for the past 20 years.

She assured that the aim of the text was to “target only the largest farms. We don’t want to harm small farms in any way”. She said the Commission was “ready to discuss the thresholds” at which pig, poultry and beef farms would be covered by the Directive, to target only “the 10-15% of farms that are the main causes of problems”.

Rapporteur for the opinion, Benoît Lutgen (EPP, Belgian), criticised the proposal, saying that “this text is a serious mistake for agriculture and small farms”. He said he feared that this text would lead to farm takeovers or an increase in imports from third countries that do not share the same costs or standards. The rapporteur proposes to exclude cattle farms from the scope of this Directive. The deadline for tabling amendments to the rapporteur’s draft opinion is 11 November.

*Paolo De Castro* (S&D, Italian) said the proposal could jeopardise the survival of small farms. He criticised the 150 LU threshold and the inclusion of cattle farming in the scope of the Directive.

Jérémy Decerle (Renew Europe, French) criticised the method followed by the Commission, which does not take into account the industry’s opinion.