Sustainability has been in the European Union’s agenda for over 20 years, focusing on sustainable development through its economic, social and environmental dimensions. Agriculture plays a key role in the preservation of natural resources as almost 50% of the EU territory is farmland and the good-keeping of this land will have a direct effect on future agricultural activity. In order to reduce the impact of agriculture on the environment, all sectors involved, such as pig farming, have to adapt to a set of environmental policies relating to emissions into the water, soil and air.

Sustainability legislation

Following EU legislation, there are established restrictions on industrial emissions that affect intensive pig farms. Moreover, the EU published a set of guidelines that cover how different on-farm processes and activities are managed, including:

  • Feed management
  • Housing of pigs
  • Manure management
  • Storage of dead animals
  • Energy consumption
  • Water usage and treatment

The aim of this control is to tackle important issues such as ammonia emissions to air and nitrogen and phosphorus emissions to water and soil, establishing set limits to reduce the impact of intensive pig farming in the environment.