Wednesday 28 October 2020
Home International Poland makes concessions to farmers protesting stricter animal laws

Poland makes concessions to farmers protesting stricter animal laws

The Polish government has made two concessions in an attempt to get the controversial new animal welfare law through parliament. Prime Minister Morawiecki says the law will not enter into force until January 2022 to give farmers and fur farmers more time to make changes.

Also, the proposed export ban on ritually slaughtered meat would not apply to poultry. Yesterday, Prime Minister Morawiecki and Agriculture Minister Puda also promised compensation for those farmers who would not be able to change their affiliates, but demonstrating Polish farmers do not fully believe these statements.

It is unclear whether these concessions will allay objections in the House of Lords, which opened a decisive debate and vote on Wednesday. Yesterday in Warsaw, about 60 thousand farmers protested who disagreed with many provisions of this law. Also last week they demonstrated with tractors and the construction of roadblocks.

Farmers from various Polish regions arrived in Warsaw on Tuesday. They were joined by unions, agricultural organizations, hunters, and veterinarians

Ahead of the debate, PiS Chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński said he had no intention of withdrawing his plans. According to him, there is an urgent need to modernize the mostly small-scale obsolete Polish agricultural sectors.

The ever-persistent infections with African Swine Fever and the recurring Avian Flu is an argument for many Poles for stricter government regulations and controls in the vast Polish countryside.

The now proposed ban on ritual slaughter is seen as a disguised ban on the export of Polish meat to Muslim countries. It would also mean the end of the Polish chicken industry, but an exception may be made now.

The debate in the Senate in Warsaw is very lively as senators from both the coalition and the opposition are divided on this bill and the outcome of the vote will be unknown until the end. There is a lot of pressure on senators from protesting farmers in Warsaw, who demand that this law be rejected.

The Polish farmers see it as a positive signal from the Agriculture Commission, which has recommended rejecting the bill in its entirety. That happened a few years ago with an earlier version of a strict agricultural law as well.


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