Judgment delivered on 31 August 2017
Danish Pig Producers
The Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark
Danish rules on pig transports not in contravention of EU law
The case before the Supreme Court concerned whether the rules on interior floor height for 100 kg and 110 kg pigs on journeys of more than eight hours' duration and on minimum surface area and loading density for 25 kg piglets on journeys of more than eight hours' duration are in contravention of the EU Transport Regulation and the proportionality principle under EU law. The Danish rules are more strict on minimum space requirements than the EU rules in the Transport Regulation.
Regarding the Danish rules on interior floor height, the Supreme Court found, based on an overall assessment, that they had not restricted the free movement of goods in the EU in a disproportionate way. Here, the Supreme Court in particular gave importance to the fact that the Danish executive order follows the scientific recommendations which gave rise to the adoption of the Transport Regulation. Accordingly, the Supreme Court agreed that the Danish rules on height requirements when transporting 100 kg and 110 kg slaughter pigs are not in contravention of the Transport Regulation or the EU proportionality principle.
With regard to the Danish rules on minimum surface area and loading density for 25 kg piglets, the Supreme Court held that these rules are also not contrary to the Transport Regulation. The Supreme Court stated, in particular, that the grounds for the EU Court of Justice's judgment of 21 December 2011 (case no C-316/10) showed that the Court of Justice had concluded that the Danish rules on minimum surface area and loading density for 25 kg piglets are not in contravention of the Transport Regulation.
The High Court had reached the same conclusion.