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Parliamentary questions
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20 December 2016
Question for written answer E-009668-16
to the Commission
Rule 130
Julie Girling (ECR)

 Subject:  Consequences for producers of the decision taken in 2008 to increase the minimum liver weights for foie gras production
 Answer in writing 

In its answer to my Written Question E-007108/2016, the Commission affirms that minimum liver weights for foie gras production were introduced in 1991 and then changed for duck livers in 1995, and that since then no assessment has been envisaged or conducted in relation to the consequences of this arbitrary decision.

Minimum liver weights in foie gras production are not ‘traditional’, as is confirmed by different weights set in 1991 and 1995 and by the absence of standard minimum weights in foie gras production protocols before then.

The Council of Europe recommendations are not recognised as legally binding by the French Government (question 97227/2016 in the French Parliament), and are partly non-enforceable because the relevant Standing Committee in charge of reviewing them ‘within 5 years of coming into force’ and receiving annual reports from producing countries no longer exists.

— Is the announced external evaluation going to cover the impact of establishing minimum liver weights in 1991 and 1995 in terms of animal welfare, fair competition with EU producers that do not force-feed, and easier market access for foie gras produced in third countries with lower or no welfare legislation?

— When will the results of the external evaluation be announced?

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