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Parliamentary questions
22 January 2013
E-010655/2012
Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

Animal welfare aspects in foie gras production are covered by Directive 98/58/EC concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes(1) and the recommendation of the Council of Europe concerning Muscovy ducks and their hybrids(2).

The above Recommendation puts countries allowing foie gras production, such as Hungary and France, under certain obligations; in particular, it requires them to encourage research on its welfare aspects and on alternative methods, which do not include gavage. The recommendation also foresees that, until new scientific evidence on alternative methods and their welfare aspects is available, the production of foie gras shall be carried out only where it is current practice.

The Commission does not plan to present any legislative proposal on this issue at the moment.

At this stage, the Commission is mainly concentrating its actions to ensure enforcement of the existing EU welfare legislation in the Member States. In particular, the Commission inspection services carried out on-the-spot audits in the Member States producing foie gras(3). In the case of France, the state of implementation of the ban of individual cages for ducks was examined during the audit carried out in November 2012. Commission services will continue to monitor the situation in France and Hungary with a view to obtaining in these countries compliance with the ban on individual cages for ducks.

(1)OJ L 221,8.8.1998, p.23.
(2)http://wayback.archive-it.org/1365/20090215072750/http://www.coe.int/t/e/legal_affairs/legal_cooperation/biological_safety%2C_use_of_animals/farming/Rec%20Muscovy%20ducks%20E%201999.asp.
(3)Audits in Hungary in 2011 and in France in 2012. The audit report in Hungary is available at http://ec.europa.eu/food/fvo/rep_details_en.cfm?rep_id=2802. The report in France will be published in the first half of 2013.

OJ C 317 E, 31/10/2013
Last updated: 28 February 2013Legal notice