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Parliamentary questions
22 October 2013
E-009949/2013
Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

Article 13 on the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union places a legal duty on the European Commission to pay full regard to the welfare of animals when formulating and implementing, amongst others, agriculture policy, while respecting provisions and customs of the Member States relating in particular to religious rites, cultural traditions and regional heritage. It needs to be noted, however, that the European Union operates under the principles of conferred competences and subsidiarity. Competences not conferred upon the Union in the Treaties remain with the Member States under the principle of subsidiarity. In areas that do not fall within its exclusive competence, the Union shall act only if, and in so far as, the objectives cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States (Articles 1, 4 and 5 of the EU Treaty).

As a consequence, certain topics related to animal protection remain under the responsibility of the Member States (e.g. the use of animals in competitions, shows, cultural or sporting events).

There is no specific EU financial aid designed to support the breeding of bulls for fighting, under either pillar of the common agricultural policy (CAP).

Direct support to farmers is mostly paid irrespective of the crops they grow or the animals they breed (decoupling) and no specific payments are made for the breeding of bulls. EU second pillar support through rural development measures can be granted to holdings for several purposes independently from the final use of the agricultural production of the farm.

The Commission is currently not proposing to alter the scope of Directive 98/58(1) to include animals used in competitions, shows or cultural events.

(1)Council Directive 98/58/EC of 20 July 1998 concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes; OJ L 221, 8.8.1998, p. 23.

OJ C 179, 12/06/2014
Last updated: 22 October 2013Legal notice