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Parliamentary questions
PDF 104kWORD 15k
27 March 2017
Question for written answer E-002044-17
to the Commission
Rule 130
Isabella De Monte (S&D)

 Subject:  Clarification regarding foie gras
 Answer in writing 

In its reply to Written Question E-000545/2017 the Commission wrote that it had ‘received satisfactory assurances that the recommendations (…) were addressed by the competent authorities concerned’.

The 2012 report highlights the fact that the French authorities did not regard the 1999 Council of Europe recommendations as binding, while, according to the Commission, they are binding enough to establish exceptions to the ban on force feeding laid down in Directive 98/58/EC. In 2016, in its answer to question 97227, the French Government confirmed its opinion that the recommendations were merely indicative and were not binding.

If, after four years, there is not even any agreement on the legislative framework in which foie gras production is permitted, what are the ‘satisfactory assurances’ that were received?

As regards the minimum weights of livers, the problem is not enforcement, but the very presence of those livers in Regulation 543/2008, which prevents the production of foie gras without force feeding, especially in ducks, the animals most commonly used. This runs counter to the provisions of Directive 98/58/EC. It also prevents the Animal Welfare Platform from being used for activities designed to abolish force feeding.

While the external assessment may be able to examine other aspects of the production of foie gras, what does the Commission suggest it can do to accelerate the removal of minimum weights from Regulation 543/2008?

Original language of question: IT 
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