August 10, 2009
One thing is to create equal conditions in the market. The other is implementing these rules. That sometimes is a rather bumpy road.
In the EU zone, producing animal meat for human consumption requires common rules. It must eliminate local differences in order to create equal conditions for any participants. But what if it collides with local tradition?
In Hungary, cutting pigs and making sauseges and spicy meats from its different parts is a national habit and an occasion for family gathering. It is quite a festival, even in small groups.
Recently, tourism in the country side is on the wake. Many expert says that deprived region of the country can help itself easily if they join the village tourism. Local festivities like cutting pigs are good substitute for cultural programes that are otherwise lacking in poor or distant villages.
The Hungarian government has made a decree recently that ordered pig-cutting implemented only in official slaugther houses. It referred to an EU requirements that was introduced to control the quality of meats and obeyed local authorities to examine the animals. The examination is expensive, requires certain mechanies, thus transporting them to particular houses is impossible. Without examination, pig cutting in houses was said to be illegal.
The law makes room for family consumption as an exception to public consumption. Defined as relatives who are eligible for eating the pig meat wihout further official check, tourist as such can hardly stand for „loved ones” or „linked by blood”. Of course, there are some leeways as human creativioty knows no end, but this is hardly a coomon road to oblige this particular law.
EU has some other officially binding proposals that allows to preserve local culture, tradition and habits if they are the expression of locally practiced customs. The Hungarian authorities forgotton about them and made a mandatory requirements that does not take into consideration the seemingly tiny issues of local pig cutting.Péter Kóczián