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Position papers

At the end of 2022 and 2023 : ERPA carried out numerous actions, including several exchanges with the European Commission (DG AGRI) to preserve the European marketing standards for poultry meat and to improve those for eggs: read ERPA position (EN). ERPA also contributed to the public consultations on the draft delegated and implementing acts in May 2023.


Since September 2022 : ERPA has had several exchanges with the European Commission (DG SANTE) to explain the specificities of rural poultry in the frame of the review of the legislation on animal welfare. ERPA also answered to the study carried out by an independent firm on behalf of the EC on this review of animal welfare legislation.


May 2021: ERPA sent a letter to the European Commission (DG AGRI) concerning the application of the new regulation on organic farming, to request the exemption of parasites treatments for laying hens from the application of the doubling of withdrawal period since these have a withdrawal period equal to zero. This new measure severely penalizes producers of organic eggs, without being justified from a health point of view.

November 2020 : ERPA sent a letter to the EU Commissioner for Agriculture, as well as to several MEPs, shadow rapporteurs and permanent representatives, to call for better recognition and support for rural poultry production in the new CAP, in particular via the recommendations sent to Members States on their strategic plans (read ERPA's letter)


October 2020 : ERPA sent a letter to European Commission to request the extension of the derogations on the use of non-organically reared pullets for egg production and on the use of maximum 5% of non-organic protein feed, following the postponement by 1 year of the implementation of the Regulation (EU) 2018/848

March 2020 : ERPA contributed to the Public Consultation on the roadmap regarding the “Farm to Fork” Strategy recalling the specificities of rural poultry production which meet all the elements presented in the roadmap (climate change, biodiversity, economic sustainability of farms and farmers, animal health and welfare, information for consumers...) (read)


December 2020 : ERPA prepared a registration form for non-professional operators keeping rural poultry aiming at harmonizing in all EU countries the implementation of the Animal Health Law regarding the mandatory registration for non-professional rural poultry farmers. This form was presentend during a meeting of the Animal Health Advisory Committee (see the presentation)

July 2019: ERPA took part in the study made by an independent firm on behalf of the EC about european marketing standards


February 2019: ERPA expressed their positions on the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) during their General Assembly


2018-2019: ERPA made several contributions during the rewriting of the delegated and implementing Acts, as part of the Animal Health Law


October 2018: ERPA contributed to the European consultation on the Delegated and Implementing Acts of Control Regulation. ERPA requests flexibility regarding the presence of official veterinarians in order to preserve small slaughterhouses (read)

September 2018: ERPA contributed to the EC secondary acts defining the future rules for organic poultry production (read)

February 2018: ERPA position paper regarding the Regulation (EU) 2017/625 on official controls and the presence of official veterinarians in poultry slaughterhouses (read)


February 2018: ERPA contributed to the European consultation on the Commission Implementing Regulation of food information to consumers - Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 (read)

November 2017: ERPA has carried out Biosecurity information sheets for rural poultry farmers in Europe: simple to understand, these information sheets remind the basic principles to be respected in a poultry farm (download the sheets)

August 2017: appointment by the EC of the expert group “EGTOP”, for technical advice on organic production (decision EU 2017/C 287/03)

August 2017: publication of the european regulation definig microbiological criteria on Campylobacter in broiler carcases 

(regulation EU 2017/1495)

July 2017: ERPA position paper on the evolution of the marketing standards for eggs/confinement measures of free range hens in case of AI (read)

June 2017: agreement in the trialogue between the European Parliament/Council/Commission on the text of the future European regulation on organic farming. To be definitively validated by Parliament and the Council.


June 2017: participation of ERPA to the first meeting of the EU  Platform UE on Animal Welfare (link to the platform)

May 2017: participation of ERPA to a working group of EFSA on biosecurity measures to fight against Avian Influenza aviaire, as the expert of free range and rural productions.



(read) - page 18

Mars 2017: presentation of ERPA work on biosecurity against AI in rural poultry during the Animal Health Advisory Committee (see the presentation)

February 2017: publication in the Official Journal of the EU of the Decision (EU) 2017/263 of 14th February 2017 on risk mitigating and reinforced biosecurity measures and early detection systems in relation to the risks posed by wild birds for the transmission of highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses to poultry (decision EU 2017/263)


February 2017: General Assembly of ERPA in Brussels


September 2016: ERPA position paper on the marketing standard in eggs and poultry meat.

ERPA considers that it is vital to maintain the limitation and the actual conditions of use of the terms related to the type of farming on the labelling of poultry meat and eggs. Indeed, the development of alternative poultry over the last 20 years has been achieved thanks to the 1991 European regulation which has provided clear segmentation and labeling. It would be very dangerous for these productions to call into question the existing situation

(position paper on eggs ; position paper on poultry)

December 2015: ERPA appointment with DG SANTE. Request for adapting of the European regulation on Animal Health to rural poultry, in particular homogenizing the Member States' regulations on the traceability of live poultry.

Mars 2014: ERPA position on the proposal for the new European Regulation on organic farming (read)

At the end of March 2014, Commissioner Dacian Ciolos presented the Commission's proposal for a new European regulation on organic farming, with the aim of "making the legislation more effective, more adapted to the new reality and guaranteeing the long-term credibility of the sector".
This project proposes significant changes for poultry production: 100% organic diet, 60% local sourcing
for raw materials, obligation to use organic poultry breeds, compulsory access to outdoors for pullets, etc.

If ERPA is in favor of the Commission's objectives, it considers that the proposal does not make it possible to maintain the current good development of organic poultry productions and does not take into account the specific local history of the various organic sectors in Europe. ERPA makes proposals of amendments to the project, in order to ensure that organic poultry productions can continue to grow while offering quality products to consumers and respecting the environment and animal welfare.


July 2013: ERPA position paper on the project « from my farm » 


July 2013: ERPA position paper during the public consultation for a revision of the framework regulation on organic farming.

ERPA sent to DG AGRI a position paper on the impact of the proposed options on organic poultry and eggs, in particular: the difficulty of requiring 100% of organic livestock production in traditional polyculture-livestock farms, the negative impact of the requirement of organic breeders on local production and animal genetic biodiversity, and the interest of allowing amino acids derived from fermentation for a 100% organic balanced feed, with local raw materials.

April 2013: position paper of ERPA on mandatory origin labelling for poultry meat products (read)


Animal welfare:


  • Rural poultry is an example of positive production in terms of animal welfare, with outdoor rearing method and the use of rustic, slow-growing breeds.

  • ERPA is against a specific labelling and logo, as existing types of rearing already value animal welfare.


Marketing standards in poultry & eggs:

  • In poultry, preserving the actual regulation of marketing standards, with independant controls.

  • In eggs, maintaining the actual regulation of marketing standards ; requirement of a mandatory control of the type of rearing by a third part body ; requirement to mark eggs at the farm.

Animal health and biosecurity:

  • Requirement of the adaptation of the future European animal health regulation and official controls to rural poultry.

  • Work on the definition and the homogenization of biosecurity measures for rural poultry farms.


Organic poultry:

  • ERPA is in favor of one organic harmonized regulation for all European countries, with a strict and uniform application of the principles of organic farming.

  • Definition of slow-growing breeds: ADG of 35 g/d max.

Eggs in basket with different eggshell c
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