Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission
The Commission is aware that such holdings have been planned, at least in some Member States.
Irrespective of the size of the holding, Union law shall apply. Member States are responsible for ensuring proper implementation of these rules.
Concerning animal welfare, the cows would have to be kept in accordance with the rules laid down in Directive 98/58/EC(1) and the Council of Europe recommendation concerning cattle(2). The latter forms part of the European Convention for the protection of animals kept for farming purposes(3) which is part of EC law.
According to Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, such a project falls under Annex II and should be made subject to a screening procedure. This procedure is not carried out by the Commission but by the relevant competent national authorities before consent is given and aims to determine whether the project is likely to have significant effects on the environment. In doing so, the national authorities must take into account the relevant criteria laid down in Annex III of the directive.
As regards water quality, if the holding is located in a nitrate vulnerable zone it will have to respect the rules of Council Directive 91/676/EEC(4), aimed at reducing water pollution caused or induced by nitrates from agricultural sources and at further preventing such pollution.
OJ L 375, 31/12/1991 P. 1 — 8, as amended by Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 September 2003 and Regulation (EC) No 1137/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2008.