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Parliamentary questions
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6 February 2017
Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-009039/2016

The legislation on the protection of animals at the time of killing(1) was adopted in 2009 and started to be applied in 2013. The requirements of this legislation apply to slaughterhouses exporting meat to the Union and the Commission audits indicate that compliance with the requirements is generally high in establishments approved to export to the Union.

The health certificate accompanying meat imported from non-EU countries must be supplemented by an attestation certifying that requirements at least equivalent to those laid down in the Union legislation have been met. The EU requirements for animal welfare during transport and at farm do not apply to non-EU countries.

In some cases, the Commission became aware of animal mistreatment in areas outside the legal requirements for exporting to the EU. As the Commission is not competent for those situations in non-EU countries, it uses other mechanisms for trying to improve the situation. For instance, animal welfare workshops have been organised in South America with relevant authorities under the framework of the Better Training for Safer Food programme.

Currently, the Commission does not intend to ban imports of horsemeat unless there is a breach of applicable Union rules during its production.

Against this background, the Commission continues to work on international activities aiming to strengthen its partnership with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and to promote enhanced cooperation on animal welfare in bilateral agreements.

(1)Council Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing (OJ L 303, 18.11.2009, p. 1).

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