The German poultry industry has warned politicians that over-regulation in the sector would threaten the livelihoods of chicken and turkey farmers, the Zentralverband der Deutschen Geflügelwirtschaft e. V. (ZDG) has said.
The government has drafted a Health and Safety at Work Act for the meat industry, which seeks to ban the hiring of temporary workers and cooperation between companies.
The German Bundestag has commenced committee hearings and consultations on the draft of the act, the ZDG added.
Friedrich-Otto Ripke, president of the ZDG, said, "We are in favour of clear rules when it comes to people, animal welfare and the environment.
“But, we are just as clearly against political activism and a hasty law with devastating consequences and no objective basis. The Occupational Health and Safety Control Act resembles more a tribunal than an ordinary legislative procedure.”
The act would result in replacing high-quality chicken and turkey meat from German animal welfare-oriented production chain with poultry from Eastern Europe due to significantly lower production costs.
The poultry industry expressed its concerns in an open letter to policymakers at the federal, state, and EU levels.
Industry representatives have asked for a "responsible policy with a sense of proportion to strengthen domestic production" through this letter, the ZDG added.
Ripke explained, “It is an expression of great concern: if the politicians continue in this way, the competitiveness of the entire domestic poultry meat production sector will be threatened.”
The open letter will be published across various media platforms and circulated by post to more than 2,000 politicians at the federal, state, and EU level.