Romania has assumed a leading position in the sheep breeding sector, being the largest exporter in the EU with earnings of over EUR 150 million. According to associations of sheep farmers, however, many of their members are now being forced to sell off livestock as a result of the recent drought, increased fodder prices and manpower shortages, while young people are reluctant to engage in this activity because of the low earnings and generally unsocial hours encroaching on their free time. Another problem for sheep farmers is the low correlation between farm gate and supermarket prices. While retail prices have remained stable, sheep are now fetching rock-bottom prices.
In view of this:
What does the Commission think of sheep farmers being forced to sell off their livestock?
In the Commission’s view, what measures should be taken by the Romanian authorities to support sheep farmers and maintain Romania’s leading position in this sector?