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Parliamentary questions
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24 July 2019
Question for written answer E-002410-19
to the Commission
Rule 138
Petras Auštrevičius (Renew)

 Subject:  Use of mulard duck
 Answer in writing 

According to the report ‘The welfare of ducks during foie gras production’ produced by the Cambridge University Animal Welfare Information Service, Mulard ducks — the ducks most commonly force-fed for foie gras production in the EU — ‘are fearful of humans and nervous’, or ‘sensitive to the environment’ (Laborde and Voisin 2013) and such characteristics ‘make mulard ducks particularly unsuitable for force-feeding because, fearful of humans and nervous, they struggle, try to escape or retreat to the back of the cage. )’

The study says that the greylag goose, Anser anser, traditionally the main species used for foie gras production, is migratory, while the muscovy and the mulard duck are non-migratory, and most populations of wild mallard rarely migrate.

The use of mulard ducks is therefore not traditional, but began for purely financial reasons, which further aggravates welfare problems.

1. Is the Commission aware of this issue?

2. Has it taken any action to avoid the use of non-migratory species?

3. The fact that producers are allowed to force-feed mulard ducks is a sign that the present legislation does not effectively safeguard the welfare of animals used for foie gras production. What additional reasons does the Commission need to propose a review of the existing legislation?

Last updated: 5 August 2019Legal notice