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Procedimiento : 2016/2078(INI)
Ciclo de vida en sesión
Ciclo relativo al documento : A8-0014/2017

Textos presentados :

A8-0014/2017

Debates :

PV 13/03/2017 - 17
CRE 13/03/2017 - 17

Votaciones :

PV 14/03/2017 - 6.1
Explicaciones de voto

Textos aprobados :

P8_TA(2017)0065

Debates
Lunes 13 de marzo de 2017 - Estrasburgo Edición revisada

17. Propiedad responsable y cuidado de équidos (breve presentación)
Vídeo de las intervenciones
PV
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die kurze Darstellung des Berichts von Julie Girling über die verantwortliche Haltung und Pflege von Equiden (2016/2078(INI)) (A8-0014/2017).

 
  
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  Julie Girling, rapporteur. – Mr President, throughout European history the bond between equidae and humankind has occupied a very unique position within our societies. As many of you know, equidae have and still do play a vital role in many EU Member States. Sometimes this is out of necessity, as forms of transportation and agricultural assistance, but other newer roles have also emerged such as in research, therapy and rehabilitation. For example, in Bristol, in my constituency in the UK, Spiritus Equis offers equine-assisted therapy to help young people with substance misuse and offending behaviour. Equidae – horses in particular – are also prominent in the betting and sporting world, and for many owners, myself included, equidae are kept for leisure and more recreational purposes.

Through such versatility, equidae have come to possess vast economic potential. Today the equine sector adds over EUR 100 billion to the EU’s economy each year and is a leading rural employer in many EU Member States. However, despite the varied roles, close relationship and at times dependency we share with these animals, in too many cases equidae are faced with a number of severe welfare concerns that serve to adversely impact the entire sector. Such concerns include neglect, overwork and inappropriate living conditions. These problems can be found across the breadth of the equid sector and occur due to a multitude of reasons: ignorance, lack of education, over-breeding and economic hardship.

Europe’s citizens want to see more action on animal welfare. With this report I believe that we have a golden opportunity to not only substantially improve the lives of the seven million equidae currently living within the EU, but also by better caring for these animals we have a chance to unlock the full economic potential of this sector and provide a much-needed boost to the rural economy. It is a win-win for all involved.

I would like to emphasise at this point that this report does not intend to call for additional legislation but rather to improve existing provisions, particularly their enforcement. In fact, equidae are broadly covered by a number of legislative acts pertaining to their health and welfare, and whilst better implementation and enforcement of existing law would help remedy some of these problems, it is not clear within the scope of the existing treaties where added European legislation could, or should, add value. Rather, I firmly believe – and this is a belief that fundamentally shapes the nature of this report – that value can be added by tackling ignorance and by encouraging and facilitating the spread of best practice and good guidance. This will provide both commercial and recreational equidae owners with the tools and knowledge to better meet the needs of their animals. For example, knowledge transfer schemes as we see in Ireland are one tool Member States could utilise to share best practices, as well as business models and to foster innovation and new ideas. This is especially important in light of the added emphasis on the need – and, in fact, urgency – to become more environmentally-friendly, a development that the equid sector is not immune to. Such schemes could therefore safeguard the welfare needs of equidae while, at the same time, ensure businesses are viable and are able to adapt to changes in regulation elsewhere.

The development of animal welfare indicators will provide the guidance needed to make compliance and consistent enforcement more achievable. An increased number of educational resources will tackle ignorance and thereby correct the current lack of understanding surrounding the care and ownership of equidae. The establishment of animal welfare reference centres will provide a much-needed avenue for the dissemination of guidance. A recommitment from the Commission to the development of a European charter for sustainable and responsible tourism would also be hugely beneficial. Tourists would be empowered to make choices, which will not only reward those enterprises which properly care for their equidae but will also inform and provide peace of mind.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the shadow for all their support and constructive contributions and to thank Eurogroup for Animals who have been a valuable source of information throughout the process.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye-Verfahren

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák (PPE). – Pane předsedající, já bych chtěl poděkovat paní zpravodajce za její zprávu, sami doma chováme pět koní, takže tato zvířata jsou mi velmi milá. Musím říci, že o jejich dobré životní podmínky chci skutečně pečovat spolu ostatně s vámi, předpokládám. Ale chci rovněž vyzdvihnout, že paní zpravodajka řekla, že při chovu koní se neocitáme v žádném právním vakuu. Zde existuje právní základ, který právě i pro chov koní lze využít. V tomto smyslu se tato zpráva jednoznačně odlišuje od té, kterou jsme probírali v předchozím bodě, to jest o volání po nové legislativě u chovu králíků. Já bych chtěl říci, že vnímám v té zprávě rovněž silné momenty, a to je např. podpora venkovské ekonomiky právě z chovu těchto zvířat, protože jak v oblasti turismu, cestovního ruchu lze chov těchto zvířat velmi využít. Paní zpravodajka se dotkla i problematické oblasti, a to je např. přeprava těchto zvířat. Myslím si, že ta zpráva je výborná a já ji rád podpořím.

 
  
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  Nicola Caputo (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, innanzitutto mi complimento con la collega Girling per l'ottima relazione. Io tratterò un aspetto un po' diverso rispetto a quello del benessere degli animali, che già è stato ben relazionato: la questione dell'etichettatura e della tracciabilità, che è fondamentale anche per la carne da cavallo.

Nonostante la carne equina sia considerata di particolare pregio, in alcuni paesi è venduta a prezzi molto inferiore a quella bovina, determinando condizioni favorevoli per frodi a danno dei consumatori europei. Analogo discorso si può fare anche per il latte equino; spesso le condizioni delle aziende in cui si produce latte equino variano enormemente e i livelli di controllo non sono assolutamente paragonabili a quelli delle aziende di produzione di altro tipo di latte. Per di più le norme che regolano il trattamento del latte equino sono poco chiare e non esistono standard comuni nell'Unione per le ispezioni e per la supervisione.

Non dobbiamo dimenticare lo scandalo della carne equina e altri casi di frodi alimentari che abbiamo già registrato. Per migliorare la trasparenza e la sicurezza in tutte le fasi della catena alimentare, è essenziale richiedere che l'indicazione...

(Il Presidente interrompe l'oratore)

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς ( ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, δεδομένου ότι η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση αποτελεί τη μεγαλύτερη αγορά για τον κλάδο των ιππικών αθλημάτων παγκοσμίως και δεδομένου ότι τα ιπποειδή είναι τα ζώα που μεταφέρονται περισσότερο στην Ευρώπη κατ’ αναλογία προς τον πληθυσμό τους, είναι αναγκαίο η Ένωση να θεσπίσει κανόνες για την προστασία τους. Άλλωστε ο Παγκόσμιος Οργανισμός για την Υγεία των Ζώων εξέδωσε ήδη κατευθυντήριες γραμμές σχετικά με τα ιπποειδή τον Μάιο του 2016. Επομένως είναι αναγκαία η δημιουργία κέντρων αναφοράς για την καλή διαβίωση των ζώων με στόχο τη βελτίωση των ποσοστών συμμόρφωσης και τη συνεπή επιβολή της νομοθεσίας καθώς και η διάδοση πληροφοριών και βέλτιστων πρακτικών σχετικά με την καλή διαβίωση των ζώων και συγκεκριμένα των ιπποειδών. Επιπλέον, οι ιδιοκτήτες ιπποειδών θα πρέπει να διαθέτουν ένα ελάχιστο επίπεδο γνώσεων σχετικά με τη ζωοτεχνία ιπποειδών, ενώ παράλληλα η ιδιοκτησία συνεπάγεται προσωπική ευθύνη όσον αφορά το επίπεδο υγείας και καλής διαβίωσης των ζώων που έχουν στη φροντίδα τους.

 
  
 

(Ende des Catch-the-eye-Verfahrens)

 
  
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  Věra Jourová, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, I wish to thank the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, and in particular its chairman, Mr Siekierski, and the rapporteur, Mrs Girling, for the report on responsible ownership and care of equidae.

This report provides an overview of the role of equidae, mainly horses, in today’s society and the importance of the equid sector in the EU economy. The Commission agrees with the authors of the report that the risk to equine welfare needs to be effectively and specifically addressed by Member States, relevant organisations and, of course, keepers of horses and other equidae. The existing animal welfare legislation concerning the keeping, transport and slaughter of animals provides a solid base for Member States to protect the welfare of horses. The Commission for its part will continue to audit the systems in place in Member States to protect the welfare of animals and will act on its findings as and when necessary.

As the honourable Members will know, last year saw the adoption of the Animal Health Law, a milestone in the development of EU animal health legislation, which provides for the responsible ownership of animals and requires keepers of animals to have a minimum knowledge of animal health and welfare. With the adoption of the regulation on animal breeding, specific measures have also been introduced, including for the preservation of the genetic diversity in livestock and equidae.

I must also mention the proposal for a regulation on official controls, which we hope to conclude during this week’s plenary. The implementation of this new regulation will provide an opportunity to review the rules on traces and the collection and publication of data on the movements of animals and their products. In addition, a crucial role will be played by the future animal welfare reference centres. The discussion on end-of-life horses and imports of horsemeat from non-EU countries was also very important. In this context, I would remind the honourable Members of the ongoing negotiation on the Commission’s proposal on veterinary medicinal products, which is the suitable forum to address the relevant recommendations of the report as regards the administration of veterinary medicinal products to horses.

As rightly pointed out in the report, guidance and education are variable supplements to legislation. In this regard, the Commission actively promotes the exchange of best practices, in particular in the field of animal welfare, and has engaged in an enhanced stakeholder dialogue on relevant welfare issues. The recommended preparation of guidelines on good practices in the equine sector can be considered after the legal framework has been established. However, given the wealth of available advice for keepers of horses and other equidae in almost all Member States, I would say that the EU added value of having such guidelines is not so apparent. Let me be clear: the rising number of cases of compromised equine welfare is primarily caused by economics-related choices rather than a lack of accessible information.

As regards the international dimension of the report, the Commission would refer to various international agreements to which the EU and the Member States are party, such as the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures. Meeting our international obligations should not prevent us from adopting higher standards where necessary to protect animal and public health and animal welfare, but such higher standards should, first and foremost, be applied within Member States. The Commission will continue to actively promote EU and international animal welfare standards in third countries.

Overall, I consider the report to be a balanced overview of the current challenges of the equid sector and note that most of the recommendations to the Commission have already been broadly addressed and will be followed up, together with Member States, relevant organisations and the equid sector. This report will no doubt assist the Commission, Member States and relevant organisations to keep a focus on equine health and welfare.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Die Abstimmung findet morgen, Dienstag, 14. März 2017, statt.

 
Aviso jurídico