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Parliamentary questions
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12 May 2015
Question for written answer E-007603-15
to the Commission
Rule 130
Stefan Eck (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  Individual cages used in the production of foie gras
 Answer in writing 

Individual cages used in the production of foie gras in France, Spain and Hungary fail to meet the minimum standards required by Council Directive 98/58/EC concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes.

Following several complaints by animal welfare organisations, the Commission acknowledged in 2013 that it had agreed with the French authorities that they would ensure a transition to new cage systems within five years of 2011, i.e. by 1 January 2016.

Today, around 50% of the birds are still force-fed in individual cages although they cannot perform natural behaviour, turn around or flap their wings. France has no legal basis for the phase-out. In addition, the new collective cage systems replacing the individual cages do not comply with the provisions set out in the directive (Articles 3 and 4 and Annex points 7 and 8).

How will the Commission ensure that France stops allowing the use of cage systems that do not meet minimum standards and that the requirements under Council Directive 98/58/EC are properly enforced?

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