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Parliamentary questions
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24 July 2019
E-002420-19
Question for written answer E-002420-19
to the Commission
Rule 138
Anja Hazekamp (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  Cruelty to horses in Uruguay and Argentina and EU imports of horsemeat from there
 Answer in writing 

The EU imports thousands of tonnes of horsemeat from Argentina and Uruguay every year.

Since 2012, international NGOs have repeatedly provided evidence of major welfare problems and cruelty to horses in those countries. Seriously injured horses go uncared-for and are caused needless suffering, e.g. — when being herded — through exposure to fire, electric shocks and dogs, all of which is in violation of Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009.

In addition, NGOs have recorded countless breaches of Annex III to that regulation(1).

DG SANTE’s audit 2018-6457 came to the conclusion that EU animal welfare and food safety rules were not being complied with despite the fact that, at the time of the audit, there were no horses at any of the slaughterhouses inspected (probably as a result of deliberate sabotage)(2).

1. In spite of the instances of animal cruelty that have been established, together with breaches of EU rules, and well over a year after audit 2018-6457, why does the Commission allow horsemeat imports from Uruguay and Argentina to continue and is the Commission prepared to put a stop to them? 2. Does the Mercosur agreement provide for the abolition of the horsemeat import tariff? 3. Does the Commission agree that, in the light of the information set out above, it is ill‐advised to scale back import checks on meat from Mercosur countries, as is proposed in Article 7(B) of the chapter on sanitary and phytosanitary measures in the EU-Mercosur agreement?

(1)https://www.dierenrecht.nl/sites/dierenrecht.nl/files/field/attachment/kortrapportpaardenvleesstichtingdierrecht.pdf
(2)http://ec.europa.eu/food/audits-analysis/audit_reports/details.cfm?rep_id=4094

Original language of question: NL 
Last updated: 5 August 2019Legal notice