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Parliamentary questions
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22 May 2015
Question for written answer E-008345-15
to the Commission
Rule 130
Sophie Montel (NI) , Dominique Bilde (NI)

 Subject:  Battery farming of rabbits in the European Union
 Answer in writing 

Every year in the European Union, over a billion rabbits are farmed for their skin, their fur or for animal feed. Almost all these animals are battery-farmed, under conditions which do not observe the physiological and ethological needs of the animals (cages with mesh floors, with a living area per rabbit equivalent to one A4 sheet, insufficient rations of hay [the basic food of lagomorphs], females which are reduced to the state of machines for producing young, etc.). The stress on these animals then leads to aggressive behaviour (serious injuries, self-mutilation, cannibalism etc.) and a very high mortality rate (20 rabbits out of every 100 will die before the age of 2.5 months). Also, according to several organisations (in particular the French National Agency for health and safety in food, the environment and work [ANSES]), farmed rabbits are overdosed on antibiotics, entailing a real danger to public health in the European Union.

In view of these factors which are widely acknowledged, what concrete measures does the Commission intend to take to observe the animal health standards as defined in Articles 3 and 4 of Directive 98/58/EC of 20 July 1998?

Original language of question: FR 
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